Category: Cloud Poetry

Why not send us your own cloud poetry? Remember to include your full name and where you live.

From Grevel Lindop in Manchester, UK:

Jets

Not even the sky is free from our graffiti:
air-currents all day long smudge and emboss
flock trails scrawled by planes over the blue
latitudes of summer. Fine crystals of ice
drawn by the billion through that high cloud-chamber
in the wake of our irritant particles of business,
haste, anxiety, longing to be elsewhere,
they leave the sky’s intangible islands and cities
barred or netted with oblique lines. Beautiful
when a sinking sun touches them off or a breeze
frets them to solvent lace, still they inscribe
our failure to leave anything unmarked, our helpless
filling-up of our own space, as we thincken the mind
with noise, with chatter, with a scratch-polish of dullness.
Or so the mind reflects, pondering its mirror
nature: and yet those fine-scarfed veins express
tranquillity too and something vulnerable,
ephemeral, and though entirely our own, no less
assumed by nature than the pattern of Dorset fields
or the New Grange rock-incisions. Restlessness
is what we’re made of, as much as breath or water:
you can read it there as another jet goes over
and the dwindling chord of its engine-music spreads
to a rolling monotone with a hint of thunder,
drawing a white thread into a haystack of clouds.

Sunset Clouds

The sky blue tortoiseshell.
Mixed on its palette the curded marquetries
and stones, the scumbled
rag and piled muscle, a slow
pondering manoeuvre
on the estuary. Fingernail flecks,
apricot-vanilla scoop
stealing a march; the fibreglass
escarpment pitched
on a silent thunder of surf.

[Both from Selected Poems (Carcanet, 2000)]
http://www.grevel.co.uk/

From Ajit Nagpurkar in Mumbai, India:

Clouds – The Loud Dreams

Fluttering, chittering land the
humming birds, just in front-

And I rush out to watch
As I reach, the birds fly away-

Sat I in the cane chair
open in the garden-

Right top in the sky shuffeled
white clouds to form a bunny-

I run in to grab my camera
to take a snap of the bunny-

As I return, I find the forms vanishing
but clouds are still there –

How true, they say
There is always a slip between a cup and a lip-

But then, there is no life
if you dont have any unfulfilled dream-

From Ruth Sharville in Chepstow, UK:

5 Cloud Haiku

1
Slate grey shimmering
Shot silk, Strom Loch with storm clouds
Scudding overhead.

2
Here rain-veils, cloudscapes.
Here the music of silence
Here, near always, you.

3
Arched cloud blaze to west;
Salmon pink to north and east;
Bid the sun good night.

4
Big sky; dark grey clouds;
Bright white clouds; a rainbows end;
Weather to enjoy!

5
Sun and rain and cloud.
See the rainbow, not the rain,
See the bright-edged cloud.

White

The blank paper is beckoning.
I don’t know what to say.
Mt mind is empty; I was not reckoning
On writing any poetry today.
But when,
Yesterday lunchtime,
I saw the gannet in flight, then
I wanted to write, but rhyme
There came not. His ink-
Tipped wings
Made me think
Of all sorts of beautiful things
To say, as the wind blew
And fluffed every wave crest
To cloud. The gannet flew,
Taking no rest,
His back briefly silver in the sun.
Whilst on the cliff a daisy
Bobbed in the wind, dancing for the sheer fun
Of being. And the usually lazy
Billowy clouds sped
Across the space above,
While the milky horizon led
My thoughts to someone I love.

[From “Colour Poetry – a first palette”]

The Advantages of Watching the Cloud Channel

by Andrea de Majewski

The other day I lay down to watch the cloud channel, and I saw the most interesting show. A woman with long wavy hair was wearing one of those Jackie Kennedy hats with the big brim curled up, with a long translucent ribbon tied around it, which waved in the breezes behind her. She was looking up, higher into the sky, as if expecting something wonderful.

I closed my eyes to watch the woman some more, the rest of her outfit, her smile and eyes, and what she might be waiting for. When I opened my eyes, she was gone, of course. Actually I could still see where she had been, but now she had been transformed into a grimacing sock monkey.

The cloud channel has several advantages over regular TV. First off, you don’t have to choose between rabbit ears or taking out a mortgage to fund a dish or cable package or whatever. It’s free, and whether it’s on or not is completely beyond your control. Here in Seattle, it’s broadcast more often than many places. Move here, if you want to watch a lot. If it’s not on, you must do other things. The laundry, grocery shop, whatever. But if it’s on, you can postpone chores and lie down and watch it.

It’s very relaxing. One reason for this is that there are no ads. Not even the things on public television that are just like ads except shorter and more boring. No one tries to sell you anything at all on the cloud channel. So you can just relax, and enjoy the show. It’s been proven that ten minutes of the cloud channel is more relaxing than a whole night of TV.

But the kids, you say, what about the kids? They will never settle for one channel, and even if they did it wouldn’t be the cloud channel. Kids, it turns out, are actually big fans of not only the cloud channel but also the star channel and the grass channel. In fact, I learned about a channel the other day from the kid next door. The worm channel.

And if you look closely, you’ll find something on the cloud channel to please everybody, a real diversity of tastes. Once I saw Bullwinkle humping Whinny the Pooh, as Crusty the Clown looked on. Oh, that’s right. I should mention that there’s no rating, and no parental controls. No controls at all, remote or FCC-enforced. TV for those who hate control. The Cloud Channel.

© Andrea de Majewski

From David Kitching in Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshire, UK:

Emotions

If emotions had shape,
they’d look like clouds.

Happiness would wander across deep blue.
Small and fluffy
with no grey hue,
just bright and white
and light with the joy of it all.

Sadness would be dull and flat,
Covering all with deadpan still.
Heavy and low.
An oppressive pall
that stills and removes the reason for all.

Anger would billow up mighty and high,
both screaming white and threatening black.
Flashing and roaring
and threatening the world,
diminishing all in it’s track.

Love would be smeared across calm grey blue
like watercolour smudged with tears.
With tints of orange, pink and red
as the fiery sun finally calms
and leaves us to be content.

Hatred would be roiling low
with turbulent tones of black and grey.
Rumbling past at tree top height,
spitting and glowering
and dulling the light.

Jealousy would be hazy and thin.
Oppressive, confusing with Turner sun
corrupting the light,
distorting our sight
and leaving truth limpid.

Compassion would settle gentle and still.
A quiet white mist
on the valleys and hills
and cause us to stop
and consider the ills of the world.

Hope would be high and textured and white.
Bright lacy ribbons stretched across blue.
Threads of potential
with definite shape
that hold new promise of change in the wind.

Fear would be fog, silent and dark.
Obscuring the truth, sly moving stillness,
drifting around us to get round behind us.
Sinister spirits that steal our judgement
and make us like fools, lost.

[© David Kitching 2005]

Mindclouds

There’s something that drives me
to want something
more than what I have.

In considering what my life
amounts to,

I see a cloud that set out to be
a majestic thing that strode
across landscapes.

But it was waylaid.
and merely drizzled

and became fog that did nothing
more than obscure.
I didn’t want that.

But wanting makes what is
and sets us our challenge.

And when we fail,
as we certainly will, we learn

to see how now is what we are
and not some vision of what might be.

Some bulbous cumulus that
thinks to force the world to be
and then blows itself out.

We are more drifting nimbus
that can quietly watch
and no more.

[© David Kitching 2006]

From Jonathan Freeman in East Sussex, UK:

Where are you going, Grey Cloud from the North?
Did you come to steal my blue sky?
Why have you taken the wind from the breeze,
Is it me that you want to see cry?

On whom are you crowing, Grey Cloud from the North?
Who do you mock from up high?
For whom have you shaken the cheer from the trees?
Do you hope they will quiver and die?

What is there in knowing, Grey Cloud from the North,
That all that Blue Sky was a lie?
What beast would you waken while we lie at ease?
You will not frighten me, not I.

From Lawrence Stacey:

shifting, shifting, apparition,
sideward sliding shade magician.
mist and myth of shadow rhythm,
swathe my hills in cotton.

whirling, spinning, spirit image,
ancient pathway, vaporous vision,
web phantasm, aged musician,
dreams stretch through the fog.

echoes, tones, arpeggio.
athenaeum of the soul.
dance in stillness
with a flow,
that’s gently showing all.

phrasing, chants, and syllable.
tracing shapes on stone.
searching symbols which descry
an effervescent light.

apparition, shade magician,
move between my lines.
fleeting phantom.
fading dancer.
edges,
pools, and glade.
drifting cool,
gone on fringe,
float…

and slip away.

[Written for the cloud formations at Grandfather Mountain in Boone, North Carolina, US]

From David Longstaff, Aged 9:

I’d like to shout it really loud
“Yippie, yippie. I’m a cloud”
And line the blue sky up and down
Like a meadow newly ploughed
But I’m not and never will be
Such thoughts are really silly

So instead I sit and admire the view
If I wished upon a cloud
Would you wish the same wish too?

From Glen Shorts in South Dakota, US:

Even Clouds Have a Dark Side

There is something political about a cloud
Is it the substance that seems so solid, or
The asymmetric bias to float with the wind?
Farmers like to believe clouds of favor
Hide beyond the horizon to bless the night.
Showers and lightning strikes apparent to
The sailor and the continental prairie alike
Bring the fresh showers then skies of blue.
The lower clouds observed take the credit
Although the ones not seen, at higher levels
Are the thermodynamic players that permit
The humidity to become drops that fall down,
To earth, to be carried away with the currents
End up in the ocean to become another rain
Cloud, that soak you like taxation incompetents.

From Margaret McCartney

A poem written after George Bush refused to sign the Kyoto Agreement in 2001:

1. I love nice sunsets
I don’t know why
But every time
I look to the sky

2. I see God’s work
In every cloud
And wonder if
He’s thinking aloud

3. “What have they done
To my best creation
The earth, the sky
The deep blue oceans

4. I hope they stop
Before it’s too late
For one day they’ll
meet me
At the Pearly Gates

5. And I will want
A good reason why
They are destroying
My earth, sea and sky”

6. His wrath we’ll feel
His displeasure see
For once His creation is gone
So are we.

[June 2001]

From Irene Goodnight and Diana Gibson-Kelley

A song inspired by watching the clouds in Beaufort, South Carolina, US:

Silver Lining

Theres a storm brewing in this heart of mine
Were at a crossroads trying to find our way
Emotions can get cloudy between us dear
But tommorows bound to be a sunny day

[Chorus]
There’s a silver lining behind every cloud
No matter how dark it may seem to be
Behind those clouds I can see your eyes
Full of sunshine and bright fields of dreams

A new day waits for us behind the shadows
Promises a brighter dawn ahead
Magic will come down on Shangri-La
Weaving love from skeins of heavens silver threads

Don’t let the momentary get you down
The wheel of life will turn before to long
All these fleeting problems will resolve
Just like an optimistic lovers song

Keep the faith and love will come around
We’ll find we’re standing firm on shiny silver clouds

From Ged Wells in London, UK:

Grey matters

Send in the Clouds, that will never lift,
save the brain forest, grey matters and drift.

Islands of dusk, duffel coated with pride,
muffle the light, cloud cuckoo landslide.

No gloom at the Inn, when dimmer switched
tucked into horizon, and blanket-stitched.

As wrapped in cotton, wolves losing sleep,
snug, restless days, when counting the sheep.

True muted colours, relaxing the eye,
grease proof positive, Tupperware sky.

Our tones humbled, Bubble and squeak,
from cushions deep-fried, at solstice peak.

The jungle cook grills, to desert sand,
so eat your greens and pleasant land.

Our shifty shield, will save the day,
Sunstroke beaten, by battleship grey.

From Victoria Craven in Oxfordshire, UK:

rice

we have moments
when the sky comes closer
when we spot and feel the earth moving
faster like now as
she walks down the garden
her past-atmosphere is full
bare feet loving the wet grass
with no-one to ask…
what is she doing
she sits on the bench and
eats rice when we are alone
when we are alone

the beauty is bound
through peace amidst constant sound
she wears her hair down
it mornings her face
to whom it may concern,
please – just leave us in grey
for the morning
in the afternoon
with dull
please – return us to the sky
– to itself
under that yellow strip

From Anthony Lewis in Swansea UK:

Roller Clouds

High on this hill above the bay,
Waiting for the dawn of day.
“With head in the clouds”
Like my teacher would say–
Well now I am a silver surfer,
Browsing the sky, for gems above,
Doing most of all that which I love.
With cloud painters palette,
Of magenta and blue,
And roller clouds,you would love too.
So now as I descend this heady hill.
I see a gap, and walk right through.

(Kilvey Hill, October, 2005)

Jacqueline Mai in France:

The ‘Waiting for Me’ cloud

A train ride
To the seaside
In childhood
Just after the war
The black thundering engine
Rudely ejecting
Chuffed out clouds
Which drift lazily behind
Like streams of soap bubbles
Thinning and evaporating
Puffs of fluff
Contrasting greatly
With the rattle and roar
Of the engine’s ponderous weight
And then –
‘The sea, the sea
I can see the sea.’
And yes, there it is,
The same cloud
That was there last time
Has come round again
It must have gone all the way round the world
But there it is, waiting
At the same beach.
The adults with me laugh
Knowingly
How silly they are
I’ll never be like them
And I’m not…

(January 2006)

From Megan Webster

A selection from a series inspired by the US Postal Service ‘Cloudscapes’ stamps (now out of print):
Cirrus Radiatus

How your name sizzles!
Yet they swear
your heart is born
of windblown ice-
but look how your ivory fingers
caress the azure;
how they reach out
to the world
like a lover
begging her hand.

Cumulonimbus Incus

An Inca god no doubt.
Yet I mistook him
for a wild stallion
galloping across the Andes
in search of whiter snow.
On closer look,
I see he’s only a common cloud
puffed with pride,
pondering where and when
to drop his offering.

Altocumulus Undulatus

You win the prix d’or
for décor of
the ozone dome.
The human eye stares
in awe of your miracles:
sky of virgin smiles,
sky of unbearable joy.

Cumulus Congestus
On first glance
I shivered, feared
you held the poison of Hiroshima…
Grasping your name,
I breathe relief
you merely suffer a spell
of cumulated congestion.
Nothing serious –
nothing a dose of crisp air
and a brisk constitutional
across the moor
won’t cure.

From Simon Ellis in Hindley, UK

Wandering Lonely

The cloud that drifted by on the winter breeze
through a dead sky of pale white blue
has gone now

I remember standing and watching it float by
far overhead
as it changed shape and form heading for the horizon

It was a clear day
and I could see forever

or at least
I thought I could

I watched the cloud drift over patchwork fields
over subrural sprawls
over forests and roads
casting its multicellular shadow over the world below
as it slowly vanished
a victim of its own lightness
and transpiration

The world breathes out – lo, a cloud

The world breathes in – lo, ’tis gone

It seemed to vanish just in front of the sun
in a glorious sunburst
that was over before it began

After the demise of my cloud I went home
through dismal middle-class suburbs
to my dismal middle-class lodgings
and everything felt so peculiarly futile

Thank you for my cloud
whoever sent it

It was wonderful
while it lasted.

(2nd April 2001)

From Bill Greenwood:

Three Times One Cloud

Cotton florets hug the ground,
horsetails sweep the upper reaches,
and stratus snowdrifts layer
the otherwise space between.

Leaving land, one Caribbean moment,
low curdled forms sail
shadows on the silver
face of the water.

The same time, cumulus
manta rays travel the sand
floor in aquamarine. This occurs
every day under the sun.

(Written in Latin America)

From Kim Bugie:

Written in different languages ‘to reflect the changing nature of the sky’:
Solaris du Ciel

Si: they are real!
Uber Kopf, if you will
Meme: juste a prove
on a pris le pink pill
and pause et regard
mais on muste faire heed!
Peut-etre, le ciel’s Puck nimbus on speed
~~~~~~~~~~~~>>>>>>>

Ces Times pour un laugh
o guardian de skies
Sun reckless: They’re out-
D’spite long-locked disguise
Jack und Jill’s faces : ) : ) in sepia,
See! S-uggestible sight; O- M-orning G-lory

(2006)

From Brenda Mckone:

There are clouds oh! so white,
There are clouds oh! so grey,
They float back and forth
As the go on their way.
They billow so gently,
Or buffet and storm,
They come when it’s cold
And they come when it’s warm.
I can spend many hours
Watching clouds going by
And wonder why is it
They are up in the sky?

(Written in 1974)

From Glen Shorts in South Dakota, US:

How Humans Get to Heaven

Writing a formula for a cloud is pointless
When you think you have it right
It vaporizes and mocks your foolishness
Exposed and basking in blue light

Water is such a common thing for thus
It takes a cold day to expose our breath
Show us that clouds are spirits within us
Whose airy domain transcends our death

From Luke Sivertson in Denver, Colorado, US:

Whirling Dervishes

Whirling dervishes
Swirling, dipping, diving
Around the afternoon sky
In all their pure vaporous glory.
Weaving in and out
They sweep like ghosts
Forever intertwined.

Coming together
The dancers grow.
At first a white puff
Then with eerie silence
The color changes.
From white to gray
From gray to black
Ever growing into a hulking mass
A black heap of fury
Thunder is its voice
Floods are its footprints
As it tears through the plains

Whirling dervishes
Swirling, dipping, diving
Descend from the abyss above
Spinning in an ever intensifying circle
Down to the earth they plunge
Twisting, twirling, turning
The dervishes demolish and destroy
Intertwining with the trees and shrubs
Ripping, ravaging, razing
The dancers leave their scars
Disappearing to dance another day

Whirling dervishes
Swirling, dipping, diving
Forever dancing
Forever free on the breeze.

(Denver, 2005)

From Anthony Lewis in Swansea, UK

Sky

Beneath that lofty sky,
As leaden grey clouds drift by.
I want for nothing more,
Than to stand amazed.
And hear seas roar.
And on the far horizon,
A backdrop canvas bible black.
The stage is set
As I get wet.
And clouds move and stack-
In shapes and forms before the wind.
But beaten by the turning tide of time.
Retreat I must from this shore
Beneath that lofty sky.

(Swansea Bay, September 2005)

From Paul Doxey in Suffolk, UK

A poem inspired by hearing the music of The Cloud Harp

Your clear blue sky

Your clear blue sky
cannot convince
me
I see through your pretence
no stitch masks your emptiness
your godless perfection of void

Your deceitful black sky
transparent
betrayed by chilling phantoms
false mirage of harbour lights and homesteads
unreachable

You see
I have heard the music of angels

[Dedicated to the Cloud Harp]

From Maximilan Kleibeler in Hamburg, Germany:

(We don’t understand it, but he promises us it is about clouds)

Sie fliegen auf und ab, hin und her,
treffen alles dieser Welt.

Mal hell, mal dunkel, mal leicht mal schwer,
Und manchmal auch ein Farben-Meer.

Mal trifft man sie als Tiger, mal als Drachen,
Und auch mal steigend auf,
aus eines Menschens Rachen.

Mal sind sie Feld, mal sind sie Pfeil,
Und meistens gut fürs Seelen heil.

Mal regen sie auf, mal schön wie Poesie,
Mal verzaubern sie auch, wie Magie.

Man kann sie lieben, man kann sie hassen,
Doch eine Sache, kann man nicht unterlassen.

Man nimmt sie ewig wahr, ob man will oder nicht,
Denn sie gehören zum Leben, so wie das Licht.
(Hamburg, Germany 2004)

From Colin Goedecke in New York City, US

See the site for Colin’s poetry book, The Speed of Sight, here: www.thespeedofsight.com.
And buy a copy here.

 

Animale del Cielo

The gods are amusing each other
with topiaries. Questo pomeriggio,
a rampant lepre is cotton tailed
by a fluffed and puffing cinghiale;
Bacchus pursues a tiny ninfa
which he soon consumes,
only to re-form, a propos,
into a plump and plug-nosed porchetta:
each aerial act reflecting
the bestiary of this bel paese.

(Tuscany, September 1998)

Las Bocanadas

Of an evening
usually approaching cocktail hour,
when a good wind comes up,
the clouds over Cozumel
roll into Robustos and Churchills,
Imperials and Double Coronas,
light themselves with the first flames
of sunset, and puff off
to Havana.

(Yucatan, Mexico 1999)

From Leah Aronoff in Ohio, US:

The Banality of Blue Skies

They are serious about cirrus.
And stratus.
And cumulus.
Also alto.
And fracto.
.
There is the honored cloud of the month.
Clouds that look like other things.
Clouds that look like nothing else.
One kind looking over the shoulder of another.
They softly call attention to
News that rocks the cloud world.
Cloudspotters chit chat with other cloudspotters.
The Cloud Appreciation Society Badge Issuing Committee
Makes a stunning announcement.
Henceforth new members will receive
Only one style of badge. (Gasp!)
It will show the cumulus.
This makes old members instant collectors.
Ebay eligible.
With their leftover cirrus, contrail, whatever.

My suspicion is that one, Gavin Pretor-Pinney,
Coudspotter Extraordinary,
Is behind it all,
Churning out his little cumulus badges,
Waiting to sucker in people like me.
People with their heads in the clouds.

From Marianne Beasley:

Dear Clouds

I will
lie upon my back
and gaze up at you
and yearn to be with you
so that I could
roll around in you
delight in you
be free in you
I do
Love you.

From Dan Bloom in Taiwan:

Clouds

Like human fingerprints
No two clouds are alike
They soar in the sky
like majestic towers
”turkey towers” the weatherman calls them
beautiful,
splendiferous,
incredible,
spacious,
ever-mutating,
crying out for attention,
hungry,
passionate,
full of pizazz and verve.
Yes, summer clouds are a delight to the eye
white mushrooms of smoke
set against a blue, blue sky…
Are you a summer cloud?
Do you have summer wings?
Summer flings?
Of all the clouds in the world
(and there are millions of them)
Which cloud pattern are you?
Proud?
Content?
Happy?
Sleepy?
Ready to do battle?
Humongous?
Indecipherable?
Lovelorn?

Whatever you do, and whoever you are
remember this:
There is only one you,
and one universe,
of which you are an integral part
and while there are many summer skies
and many summer clouds
the cloud you choose to be
will transport you
to the realization of your dreams
Be the best you can be,
and live up to all your accolades.
Smile when the photographer says “Cheese!”
and give it your best shot.
Life, that is.
Summer clouds,
summer sky,
Bye and bye….
Hello! Goodbye!