In response to the photos, day 6 of Paul Brookes’ what shapes can you see in the clouds challenge.


a shaft of sunlight
streams in golden glory,

dust mote-floating, touching
the shadowed fields below
with the echoing voices of infinity.

In pale imitation, we scrawl our names
in exhaust from screaming engines
across the purity, scratch the coping

of the sky with fingernails,
until the white stuffing bursts,
disperses, sea foam.


Clouds day 4

This is my poem in response to all Paul Brookes’ cloud photos. You can see them on Paul’s blog here.


There are days when the sky sucks the life
from the earth, feeds on the stillness
the dry, the wet, the leafed and the stony,
draws all into the cloud-bloat above.

We crouch beneath the great presence,
longing for the rupture, the breaking of waters,
to birth a sea of tranquillity.

Clouds challenge day 3

The photos and poems are on Paul Brookes’ blog here. My poem is based on the third image PB3.

Mirror sky

In the light and silence, a single presence
that stalks unseen across the wilderness,

we listen, hoping almost for the patter of rain
to furnish the emptiness with familiar comfort.

Times like this, we shrink from gazing
on the face of the water, on the anger beneath,

when the complicit sky oppresses, reflecting
the darkness swelling in the lake’s deep heart.


Paul Brookes’ new challenge, writing what we see in the clouds. It started yesterday, and I didn’t post my poem. Here it is with today’s poem. You can see the photographs that inspired the poems on Paul’s blog, here and here.

Volcanic cloud

Lava flow
cracked grey
a glimpse of Pompei
beneath the smothering ash

and deeper
the billowing sea
and the dead light
guiding them home.

Wild hunt

Even in the sky, perhaps only in the sky,
the wolf, the boar, the winged beauties race.

Wolf-grey, swept back wings, a day of autumn
fury, as the world turns into steel-blue winter.

Earth summer-baked, now hard with iron-cold,
watches the wild ones gallop, hopes in their return.

Come and play with the cloud people

I took this photo yesterday evening of these extraordinary clouds. Well, they look extraordinary to me. I’ve written several poems inspired by what I see here. If you want to borrow it to write a poem or a piece of prose, be my guest.


Against a sky deeper than any blue,

layered light and the still air of the cosmos,

sunlit darkness,


drift the cloud people,

the stories of flying horses,

Freyja’s cats, the winged and warlike.


We point a finger in awe, though there

are no flashing lights, lasers or the

clashing music of the wide screen,


no silver battle ships, racing

faster than light among dazzling

reconstructions of stars.


We pause in wonder,


at the dawn of time.

Ciel de traîne

A spring weather poem for NaPoWriMo. There is more ciel de traîne here, in French with English adaptation. I wrote it/them when we were still packing up to move. Seems like light years away.



Ciel de traîne

drag-net sky

meshes up swallow shoals in grey mists

and goldfinch flocks dart

hysterical with mock fear

in and out of leaf shallows.

Above the rain-damp fields

chains of clouds process

wild wind-driven.

There are no rocks to break this tide

only gentle tree tops

leafing spring green.

Rain blows

grey swirls


I wait

for the inevitable gold to fall

through wind rents

fountain through blow holes

and transform this meadow

into a river of diamonds.

Where will we go when the darkness falls?


Where will we go when the darkness falls

And from green depths the ocean’s voice calls?

Are there safe places in city sprawls?


We could follow the swallow so swift

And hope for a wind, black clouds to lift,

But flight, narrow-winged, is not our gift.


Air and ocean are bound into one,

All are equal beneath the bright sun,

We’re left with our hearts, when all is done.