When the wind shifts and tears up the canyon,
I think of the Bora—that sweeps
down the Balkans. Do the gusts
make nocturnal animals nervous?
Last night, the bats, with their four pairs of muscles,
were more than active, blue-black
tendons taut under the moon.
At dawn, little pods
more like humans hang in trapeze.
Tree limbs screech, friction
blasts, like out-of-tune cathedral bells.
In a wind shear, my hat disappears.
Deposits from blown sediments
break apart—discreet particles
small enough to find pleasure in my lungs.
Wind like Aeolian harp strings
create curious harmonies.
The mountain sings its daily breath,
a young mountain,
jagged purple, reforming—
an upended sparrow’s tail.

Jeanine Stevens studied poetry at UC Davis and CSU Sacramento. She has published 11 books and chapbooks. She has won several awards: MacGuffin Poet Hunt, Ekphrasis Prize, and Stockton Arts Commission Award. Her work has appeared in North Dakota Review, Forge, Evansville Review, Edge, Pearl, Stoneboat, and others. Jeanine also enjoys Tai Chi and collage. Her artwork is illustrated in some of her chapbooks.