What is the wind?

When I met her
barely awake in her wheelchair —
she asked me: “What is the wind?”
I looked at her hands and noticed
how small they’ve become —
Once they were strong as her mind.

The wind is not in our silence,
it is not in my words. Is it a song
or a void? Is it her hair? —
dandelion fluffed as light as her breath,
a whiff as shallow as sand. I remember it
thicker and rich.

Is the wind a gasp of tomorrow,
a forecast of days when we talk about ash?
Is it absence or waiting?
The wind could be brisk
as the beating of drums or scent of decay
it can whispered at night
as blossoms carried on butterfly wings,
the wind can carry the rain.

The wind is a kiss and white-knuckled fist
the letter she tore before it was read.
She asked me again: “What is the wind?”
and I whispered: “It is what it is”.

Windswept Landscape
by Camille Corot

This is written for Karin at toads who asks us to write of “what is…” with inspiration coming from Walt Whitman and parts of Leaves of Grass. My choice was to take the perspective of aging and dementia instead of that of a child.

Linking also to Open Link Night at dVerse where Grace is hosting.

June 14, 2018

37 responses to “What is the wind?

  1. This is absolutely stunning!❤️ Especially love; “Is the wind a gasp of tomorrow, a forecast of days when we talk about ash? Is it absence or waiting?” ❤️

  2. What a stunningly beautiful piece of poetry. I gasped aloud at these lines:

    Is the wind a gasp of tomorrow,
    a forecast of days when we talk about ash?

    So apposite to Whitman’s:
    And to die is different from what any one supposed, and
    luckier.

  3. So beautiful Bjorn. I absolutely love the lines:
    ‘dandelion fluffed as light as her breath,
    a whiff as shallow as sand. I remember it
    thicker and rich’
    and
    ‘The wind is a kiss and white-knuckled fist’.

  4. A really lovely poem, Born. I especially like the beginning, but it is interesting and thoughtful and poignant throughout. Thanks so much. k.

  5. …a gasp of tomorrow…an absence…a waiting. This is so beautifully done, Bjorn. And your final whisper is divine. Perfect as a whisper.

  6. A grand poetic, brother. You had me at/her hands–once as strong as her mind/. When the body fails you, a clear mind often remains to cajole you about the loss.

  7. I looked at her hands and noticed
    how small they’ve become —
    Once they were strong as her mind
    This is very moving- it reflects the changes that we sometimes cannot stop and how little they reflect what we are or what we have been,XX

  8. So sad and moving to watch and listen to her question Bjorn ~ I love the metaphor of the wind, how strong or how fragile it can be ~

  9. A beautifully sensitive and tender write Bjorn and you bring it to its close so perfectly… Terrific writing…

  10. I like your very senior perspective, Bjorn. I’m senior but not yet Very senior so I still have a pretty good understanding of the Moon. I have always wished we could see it.
    ..

  11. This is so overwhelmingly sad. When someone you love slowly becomes someone else it is heartbreaking and I experienced that with my own mother too!

  12. “the wind can carry the rain”

    This is such a rich and very evocative poem, a tribute, a lament, a question, a fist raised in demanding fury – for loss, even presented from the pov of one suffering –

    You’ve painted such an emotional scene, filled with the tension, the resolution of the acceptance of one as witness, the helplessness as well as the fulfillment, of love – the acceptance of it “just is” – because it just is.

    This poem carries so much weight Bjorn, and yet is is a light as air – carried by the wind. Transience in action.

  13. This took my breath away . Sensitive, poignant write with shades of memory and experience seeping through. It’s so tough. The wind…just a perfect choice to give the fitting emotion to your poem.

  14. This is the line part that resonated most with me,
    “Is the wind a gasp of tomorrow,
    a forecast of days when we talk about ash?”
    I love the energy in the wind. This made me think of it in a new way.

  15. A question hard to answer, but I have been told “spirit is in the wind,” and like dream catchers, I have hung wind chimes, to capture what is in the wind, I record the song in my heart, and I am certain I know who sings for me. It is a feeling of joy and sadness in one. A beautiful poem, I loved it!

  16. This is so beautiful–there is a sense of time and motion of the wind–and the poignancy of the aged woman and her question. . .floating in the wind. I really like this one.

  17. Beautiful. I stood on top of a mountain ridge the other day, let the wind wash over me, mess my hair. Watched the sun set. Yes, what is the wind – it touches everything, goes everywhere…

  18. “I looked at her hands and noticed
    how small they’ve become —
    Once they were strong as her mind.”
    Left me with visions of my MIL and Mom’s hands.

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