“The Voice of Wind,” “Coyote Laughing,” and “Some Instructions for Living”

“The Voice of Wind,” “Coyote Laughing,” and “Some Instructions for Living”

The Voice of Wind

Listen to the wind, its

   strings and strains of language and song

                                                                                                pulling you to your feet;

                                                                                                      a ragdoll animated and living.

Listen to the wind as

   it dashes



  icy from the morning’s new fallen

                     sleet, picking up the trees cold whispers, as it



            Listen to the wind as it

                                                           raises up

                                                   the dust and

                                                     sends it

                                                              off spinning

                                               in a dance

                                                     rapid and alarming,

                                                                a whirling dervish,

                                                  its core serene and still.


Listen to the wind as

                                          it roars in outrage,

                                                              as it moans out its pleasure,

                                                                                  as it announces its awakening.


Listen to the wind as it lifts leaves

   and sends them tumbling across grass tips in





Listen to the wind—

   it runs in

       rivulets and

           rivers and

       rapids through the air,

   stopping for nothing, for no one, it rushes ahead





   the wind is drifting a piece of

your hair


              your face,

  it’s ruffling your sleeve,

                                          it’s swirling

                                                                around you

                                                   like a

                                                                   mischievous child.


Listen, the wind is soothing you like a warm bath,

                                                                               liquidly flowing across your back,

                                                                                                                                           through your hair.


Listen to the wind push


                                                             harder and faster,

                                                             crashing in

                                                                                 an explosion of

                                                                 foam and shells and seaweed,

birds keeping

                     watch overhead

                     for their fishy dinners,

                                           sand rolling up,

                                           tossed and flipped,

                                                                cradling upturned shells,

                                                                                   cupping salty water.


Listen to the wind as the monarchs fly in enormous scarves of orange and black,

                                                                                                                       skating and fluttering along the wind's roof.



   the wind is caressing your belly as you lay in bed,

                                                          raising the hairs across your thighs,

                                                                                                                                      peeking into every crevice.


Listen to the wind

                   as it slides across your arms,

                       just passing through,

                             a restless visitor, a nomadic friend.


                                   catch its scent and song before it leaves you,

                                                                                                                                       still and sparkling.

Coyote Laughing

Despair snags me

and drags me

down into its

murky cave

and envelopes me

in its ooze

so it doesn't feel alone,

so it can feed itself.

Unmoving, I sit and let

myself be consumed. Then

Coyote shows up.

Eyes blinding yellow,

he prods me with his

warm, wet snout.

Teeth hide

behind black flaps

of flesh; coaxing.

I run.

Terror flicks

my heels as

he chases


through the night

over moon-tipped


not letting me

stop or even


Flight holds

my breath


I leap over

rushing torrents

flattening rocks,

Coyote laughing

at my back,

pushing out

the clunk

of memory.

Gloom flies off of me

like a

storm of moths.

Hovering, I am


Quickly, I take his

clawed limb in mine,

swift tricky sage

of the glowing

and wild night,

the same smile

lighting both

our mouths.

Some Instructions for Living

You’ll need a boat.

Preferably painted blue

or green, but not freshly.

It should be worn and

chipped, the sun-bleached

wood showing through

in strips and patches. Rough.

Maybe a few splinters

sticking out. You’ll

need a boat

and you’ll need

to find some water.

A lake is really

best. One with a lot of

muck near the shore so you

get to wade gingerly

through it to shove

your boat

out into the water,

using your paddle to

prop you up as you go.

You should probably

bring a small

snack, some seeds or

a few round

green grapes — tart,

crisp, bursting.

Sitting in the boat you’ll

want to lean

side to side, listening

to the water lap and

feel the thrill of

almost tipping over.

There should be a small

hole in the boat, just

enough to leak a bit

of water into

the bottom so you can

rest your feet

in the wet, dead

leaves and give the

water bugs a place

to swim. You can splash

around, making

tiny waves with your

toes. The sun will

be hot, so bring

a hat, but

don’t wear it. Set it

beside you and let

the hot rays penetrate

your scalp, turning

your nose and cheeks

pink, the tops of your ears.

You can row a little

if you want, but

once you get into the

middle it’s best to

just set the oars aside

and let the water push

and slide you across

its surface. Keep

your eyes peeled for

fish. Peer over the sides

into the depths and catch

a glimpse of the fishes

watery life, smooth

and sleek, cutting through

soft liquid. Then,

you might as well jump

in; that’s what you're there for

isn't it? Dive

in or tumble, tip

over the edge, and let the

green murky water

envelope you, embrace

you like a cool

aquatic lover. Let

your arms and legs

drift out so you look

like a starfish. Feel

your hair floating

around you like

a halo. Pretend

you’re a mermaid,

flapping your legs

like a tail. Maybe

take off your top and feel

the cool wetness

against your breasts,

let them hang



When you break

the surface, allow

the water to

roll off. You might have

trouble getting back

into the boat, but

that’s ok. You can just

dangle from the edges,

legs paddling the dark

watery depths, and

try again in

a little while. The

boat; your sweet

companion, your cradle,

your oldest friend.

About the Author

Kristi Joy

Kristi Joy currently lives and writes in a small town in Connecticut with her fiance and their kids. She writes with bare honesty, sensuality, and humor about her fumbling human journey. Kristi’s work has been published in Sunrise Summits: A Poetry Anthology, a Colorado Book Awards Finalist. In addition, she was a finalist in the 2017 Battle of the Bards Poetry Contest in Fort Collins, Colorado.