I wrote this serpent’s tail poem last night because a prompt (Daily Inkling) was niggling me. This morning I read Kerfe’s poem prompted by her Saturday consultation with the Oracle, and I can see more threads in the weave than one.


There used to be sky above my head,

red at sunset, or broad with bright

flights of swallows, darting to fill the blue.

Stew I see now, soup where clouds float,

bloated grey scum. How did it go

so far, the light, the blue colour hid,

slid into night, or sucked into the dark places

spaces behind the moon? No dragons with fiery breath,

death in their gaze sail lazily,

crazily by, nor sheep, sleep-bearing and soft.

Aloft, all is washed away,

day, sun, hope of rain;

pain falls pitter-patter, a steel pulse throbbing—

bobbing on the distant ocean, your ship

slips into silence. You left to find yourself, you said

spread your nets—still lost, you cry,

I wish you

knew where.


Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

8 thoughts on “Clouds”

  1. oh my, oh my, how the ending tugs so. It felt almost bright at the beginning with the possibility of an edible stewy sky that I wasn’t ready for the change a few lines in. You know how to pack a punch.

      1. Well that’s the thing, once you get the thread through the needle the battle is over and the race begins, even if you don’t know the route!

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