Coyote Howls and Orion Watches


Coyote howls and Orion watches
three more steps and they’d both be in my bedroom.

I wonder what the sheep think
is Zelda finally glad for the fences
even under Orion’s watchful eye.

Now I know what bone chilling means
not some horror movie hand popping out from the grave

Coyote’s cries play up and down my spine
from sacrum to reptile brain
and back again
Like someone tickling the ivories in a Rebel Yell.

This is something we all know
sheep, chicken, donkey, barn cat, dog, human
Even in the safety of our bedroom
Even under the dependable and comforting eye of the stars.


I woke up to the eerie calls of the coyotes last night.  They’ve been closer and louder than usual this week.  The closer they are the scarier they sound.  I couldn’t go back to sleep until I wrote down the poem that was running in my head.

The Rebel Yell

4 thoughts on “Coyote Howls and Orion Watches

  1. Maria, the first time I ever heard coyotes on the move was when I was living temporarily on a hundred acre farm waiting to get into our home here in the country. The distant yip, yip, yipping, gradually increasing in volume until they sounded as though they were just outside my bedroom window, then the slowly fading away as they moved away through the farm valley, sounded like the Hounds of Baskerville. I call the coyotes, the sirens of the night. In the city, I used to hear ambulance and fire engine sirens, here, it is the coyotes.
    Spooking feeling.
    Sandy P in Canada

  2. Maria,

    I live in north central Phoenix. There are mountains and dry streambeds near. I woke up to the coyotes howling two days ago. I had two stare at me on my walking path. I am cautious around them but not terrify frightened. I don’t have animals here for them to eat like you so.


    1. It’s funny Janet, I’m not really afraid of them. I know they’re not going to attack me, it’s just the sound touches something primal in me. The ones I have encountered, just stare for a while then run off.

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