A CLOUDY VISION

As I look out today the sun is covered in clouds yet again and my mood sinks as the rain comes down. I can’t change the weather so maybe I should try and think about the clouds in a different way. 

There are many types of cloud, stratus, cirrus, cumulus and more, you can look at them all at http://nenes.eas.gatech.edu/Cloud/Clouds.pdf

This photograph of clouds was taken last month at the pebble beach at Cold knap, Barry, looking over the Bristol Channel to the Somerset Coast.

The science of clouds is fascinating and so are the heavenly stories, I still remember the God I got to know in Sunday School around 75 years ago and who spoke to Moses from a cloud.

I won’t elaborate on God and heaven in the clouds as you can read an excellent article on cloud symbolism in Christianity by Creighton Lovelace, Pastor of Danieltown Baptist Church in Forest City, North Carolina, who is also a member of the Cloud appreciation Society. His entertaining look at biblical clouds is at https://cloudappreciationsociety.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Cloud-Article.pdf

I thought I’d left my Sunday school idea of God behind me long ago but someone rather like him seems to have sneaked his way into my poem.

 
A CLOUDY VISION
 
The engineer said - I will design 
machines to be perfectly matchless -each one
will have the same function but none 
will be identical - for my imagination is boundless
and incorporates hydrostatics, hydrodynamics 
and the physics of surface tension.
 
Sometimes my inventions will swirl like the tails
of a thousand milk white mares - swim
across the sky like a shoal of shining mackerel -fly 
though the air immaculate as swans - skip 
over the horizon as lively as a hare. My devices 
will be ribbons that entwine the mountain tops - sail 
like ocean liners trailing wisps of steam. 
Sometimes my equipment will hang 
over the heads of men as heavy as the bellies
of grey celestial cows, their udders dripping onto the earth.
 
Often words and images will fail to circumscribe
the endless variation of my tremendous 
flights of fancy. People will christen 
my contrivances with Latin appellations -
stratus, cumulus and cirrus. They will describe 
my designs as lonely or dark, be overwhelmed
by the deluge I release but dance 
fervent prayers entreating the delivery 
of the precious cargo carried by my contraptions.
 
I am the Heavenly Engineer, 
I float across the heavens dripping my creations 
onto the earth. Although each dribble
is lost in the fall each drop will rise again 
in mist and sap and blood.
To try to demonstrate that I can write a poem about clouds which is not permeated by the misty shade of a deity here’s a short poem that features a cloud that is the lowest of the low and which can make us feel as lonely and lost as it’s possible to be but which is, like all clouds, truly amazing.
                   IN A FOG
 
hidden among the trees I’m all wrapped up
in a misty cocoon the fog is so heavy it fails
to hold itself together and liquifies
on the twigs and tiny drops fall on my hair
and on the ground and there is silence except 
for the sound of small erratic drips in this interval
between the amniotic fluid and the fall
into the moisture of the earth to flow
through streams and oceans uplifted again and again 
into mist and clouds and astonishing fog

Anne Bryan