Learning to Paint the Wind


wildlife refuge, west of casper, wyoming


Learning to Paint the Wind

1 august sunset 2016 • i haven’t learned to paint wind yet, but it’s a constant presence • sighted here—fox (red), antelope (pronghorn), humans (none! amazing!), so i camped here the night. huge distances out here, rather intimidating to people, i guess. well, it was a monday night
                  –David Wolfersberger


To paint the wind
you must dip your brush
into a portion of sky—
opening the map of breath
as it passes through your

You’ll have to be quick about it—
the wind lies in wait,
like a surprise lover,
to catch you in her arms—
only to turn you loose again.

(you don’t get to say when)

You’ll have to mix your colors
with what you don’t know:
something that has not happened yet–
and an item or two from the long list
of things you have forgotten.

(the wind likes those kinds of stories).

Then make skipping stones
with your paints:  skittering
from fox to antelope
to yourself and back again,
inhaling what
they inhale.

You will have to show
how the invisible makes
rooted trees dance
and heavy seas slosh—
how it makes the sun
walk on water

as today pushes yesterday
into its breeze.



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