from Jimmy Berrios and Jeffrey Pflaum


The sound of wind
blowing past the pond
makes little waves appear.
I put a paper in the water
and watch it float away.
I hear the sounds of birds flying.
I face the blue sky.
I dream of a cloud, a big blue cloud,
and these are the sounds I hear…

© Jimmy Berrios, aged 11

The cloud photograph is part of a long-term project by Jeffrey Pflaum titled, “Scenes from The Big Cloud Picture Show.” The student poetry comes from two anthologies he compiled over the years from their best work: INNER CITIES (free-verse) and DANCING IN THE SPRING RAIN (haiku and short poetry).

He presented “The Big Cloud Picture Show” (rack of 144 color transparencies) to his class. After viewing a sample of the images, the kids (grades 5 – 6) brainstormed, or really, as Jeffrey calls it, “titled-stormed” potential titles for poems they would write afterward. When they finished describing the images on the screen and title-storming, students wrote poems in free-verse or haiku — their choice. This is the first time Jeffrey has combined the students’ cloud poetry with his cloud photographs — the combination of text with image works well we think.

There is a series of these combinations and we will post more for you to enjoy shortly.

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