Fleeting abundance

How do we thank the clouds for their fleeting abundance?
—Pablo Neruda

Too often, we take them for granted,
those fluffy thought balloons drifting
lazily by spring’s bluest curtain.
We may praise the sun or think,
What a beautiful day, but unless

we lay ourselves on soft grass,
cup our hands behind our heads
and direct our distracted gaze upward,
we fail to notice the proliferation of clouds,
forget that they move in infinite permutations,
reshape themselves like spirits, demonstrate
the intention of wind.

And when they overtake the sky en masse,
wearing their darkest clothes,
dare to spit at us, we unfurl umbrellas,
complain, Not today. When it first comes,
we reluctantly admit, We do need the rain,
but storm after storm leaves us wishing
the deluge would stop

We long for the aftermath—for puffy clouds
from a child’s drawing, for sunshine
and petrichor filling our lungs with
that washed-clean smell of earth.

We tip our chins to the sky then,
and maybe one among us—
one of the smallest—
will spot a billowing sail high above,
point and say,

Look, it’s a sheep—
no, a galloping horse,

and that one will giggle gratitude
as the daily sky show unfolds
for us rooted ones, who wish
we could let go and float like that.

Clouds—Taft Point, Yosemite National Park (top) and on the edge of Palm Springs (above) Photos: Dick Schmidt

About janishaag

Writer, writing coach, editor
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