THE CLOUD WATCHER
I saw a sultan’s palace in the clouds
With minarets gold-dipped in setting sun;
Its lapis-blue paved stairways spanned the sky
Then fell away as evening’s light was done.
I watched a fronded bird of paradise
Become a crystal dancer in the blue;
She spun with graceful lacy cirrus veils
That trailed behind her where the jet-stream flew.
I found a lion in the cumulus
Whose mane was billowed in the rising air;
But he grew like a spreading mushroom cloud
That caved in on itself in grey despair.
There was an angel borne on latticed wings
High in the cirro-stratus flow;
And he became a silver unicorn,
And then an eagle watching earth below.
The nimbus built tall towers to the sun
With dark foreboding ramparts brooding there;
The curtained rain swept like a widow’s weeds
Down through the weeping rainbow-patterned air.
Soft animals of every shape and form –
Fairweather friends who change to butterflies;
They run the errands of the winds sublime
Then fade away before they’ve crossed the skies.
And many cloud-wrought ships glide through the night
Unseen along the hoary vapour trails;
Made ghostly by the pale moon-mariner…….
I wish that I could trim their pearly sails.
© Indrani Ananda