Community Pages

Please accept our new Terms & Conditions before contributing to our Community Pages. Any content you contribute will be publicly visible. We expect contributors to show respect, courtesy and an appreciation of the atmosphere we all share.

Filter Photos:

You have selected:

Main Cloud Types

Other Clouds

Optical Effects


Flying Lesson: Clouds by Dolores Hayden

The clouds in a race across the sky over Eagle, Idaho, US. © Suzan Bunting

Flying Lesson: Clouds by Dolores Hayden

Exuberance, poems by Dolores Hayden, member 48,618, celebrates the early years of aviation and includes the poem, “Flying Lesson: Clouds,” that first appeared in Poetry magazine.

Flying Lesson: Clouds

Focus on the shapes: cirrus, a curl,
stratus, a layer, cumulus, a heap.

Humilis, a small cloud,
cumulus humilis, a fine day to fly.

Incus, the anvil, stay grounded.
Nimbus, rain, be careful,

don’t take off near nimbostratus,
a shapeless layer

of rain, hail, ice, or snow.
Ice weighs on the blades

of your propeller, weighs
on the entering edge

of your wings. Read a cloud,
decode it, a dense, chilly mass

can shift, flood with light.
Watch for clouds closing under you:

the sky opens in a breath,
shuts in a heartbeat.

  • Dolores Hayden Hayden avatar

    Dolores Hayden

    January 3, 2020 at 4:56 pm

    Exuberance (Red Hen Press, 2019), my newest book of poems, includes “Flying Lesson: Clouds.”

  • Adam Laceky avatar

    Adam Laceky

    January 8, 2020 at 9:36 pm

    Excellent. I wish I had written it.

  • Mark Allerton avatar


    June 2, 2020 at 2:47 am

    Useful warnings!

Post a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.