The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeing new landscapes, but in having new eyes. MARCEL PROUST

Friday, 21 September 2012

Perhaps A Cloud

A vapour trail, it moved across the moon
as the moon rolled from east to west
at rain-cleansed dusk. A comet’s tail,
a skinny streak of cloud, yet seeming
far too narrow and too vertical.
Trick of the light?

The light was fading fast.
A tapering waterfall
of smoke, it plunged
thinly from the zenith of the sky
to nadir on a mountainous horizon.

Tornado came crazily to mind
until, a slender tower, it drifted east,
flattened then broadened out,
ruffled at the edges, banded
purple and amber like a razor shell,
became diaphanous, almost dissolved —

and all the while the motion of the moon,
the motion of the earth and of the moon.

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5 comments:

Ruth said...

Oh Robert!

This distillation of the cloud's moment is tremendous. How packed the germ of this tight piece, which can explode in the heart and mind, and does. Yes, like a tornado.

To observe so closely, and to render the vision into words such as this, is writing greatness. And yes, I too am reminded of Virginia Woolf.

Gorgeous language, delicious intensity. Bravo.

The Solitary Walker said...

Well, you flatter me, Ruth — but thanks!

The poem comes out of a real observation of a thin, 'upright' cloud (or whatever it was) — a strange phenomenon Dominic and I witnessed one evening while camping in the Lake District.

Goat said...

Great! Very difficult to write about "weather" and "weather events" in fresh ways but you brought it all to life here.

prufrocksdilemma said...

I've been taking this class where we do close readings of poems. It's really fun (well, depending on the poem!). Anyway, reading this lovely poem, thinking of the class, I think, you know, all I want to do is sail off on those final two lines:

and all the while the motion of the moon,
the motion of the earth and of the moon.

Beautiful poem.

The Solitary Walker said...

Thanks for reading, Goat and Susan.