Chris Tetley, Member 10,338, sent us this poem composed to encourage us to wonder what our lives would be like without clouds. The image was one he took locally of the sky over Devon, UK.
The Gladness of Clouds
The sky would be an empty stage without its cast of varied cloud,
Lacking daily interest with no shapes its sphere to crowd.
Though sunny bright and pleasant, days would lose what cloudscapes bring,
And all those kindnesses and insults that our way they’re apt to fling.
And what would we then talk about to strike up conversation,
Those introductory lines expressing joy or indignation?
What future, outdoor outfitters that count on rain and snow,
The meteorological media whose raison d’être cloud is to know?
And what of temperate gardens that enjoy cloud cover’s hues,
All who so much benefit from its shifting greys and blues?
And those who like the chance to snuggle up safely with a book,
When a storm is raging beyond brave walls and cosy sheltered nook.
And where would be our literature, much music and the arts,
Without the different cloud types and the influence each imparts.
Gone would be the rivers and lakes on which we so rely,
Not fed from heaving boulder-burdened blister-bursting sky?
Then what of useful reference; what becomes of cloud computing,
And that foggy place to have your head where absent thought finds its rerouting?
No ninth to share its happiness, or edged with silver lining,
Misty metaphor forever lost and in need of redefining.
Heavenward contemplation would be little but blue-sky thinking,
Much lost as a source of inspiration, if sky from sea no longer drinking.
And leaden would lose its meaning as dread divide of sky and land,
Weather from being moods arbiter, then little help and rather bland.
No more those clouds chameleon-like that mark days start and end,
As from and towards night’s sunless vault they with glamour arrive and wend.
Unnoticed as if not present for every hour then in between,
Horizon’s margin brief inflamed, in distant solitude serene.
Then what of this society that so appreciates their wonder,
From timorous playful newborn cubs to roaring lions of fearsome thunder?
Where every form and unique shape that commands its keen attention,
Acquires an immortal presence, and to the wide world gets a mention.
A sky without vast mounds of vapour, wind-jostled or scenic set,
Would be a lesser world for all where hope and rainbow never met.
And I could no more live without this flock that cossets Gaia,
Than I could its welcome shade; its forms, and fancy to inspire.
© Chris Tetley