Monday, 25 February 2008

Mother of Pearl Clouds

Glittering, flickering rainbows of light
Chasing around the clouds.

The ancients would respect such an omen in the skies,
A message from a god who speaks a language
We now refuse the time to understand or even recognise.
Time was even the rainbow meant something –
A grave covenant with a listening world in awe.
Now only the astronomers stop and stare,
Look up in delight to analyse and compare
And add this phenomenon to their lists.

Under the spinning, sparkling, shimmering lights,
Mothers hurry children onward home
And stop them staring at the sky.
But the children somehow understand
This power of the heavens reaching out,
Demanding their time to be still and watch.
They know it will be fish fingers again tomorrow,
But mother of pearl clouds not for twenty years
.


Previously published in Acumen

25 comments:

STP said...

I love the imagery that this poem opens with. It starts the mind off right away thinking in colors and visions. Also, I liked the routineness of the fish fingers up against the magnificence of the rainbows.

Despairing said...

Okay, I'll admit to liking this. A wee bit!!

I'm completely blaming you for being surrounded by poetry in the last few days. I've come t ot he conclusion that after I confessed to not liking poetry, you somehow called on the poetry gods to teach me a lesson. Hence Green As A Thistle going all Haiku: http://greenasathistle.com/2008/02/24/a-greener-form-of-poetry-day-361/
and then Wild Green Yonder getting in on the act: http://wildgreenyonder.wordpress.com/2008/02/24/i-rose-from-the-mountains-like-campfire-smoke/

Crafty Green Poet said...

STP - glad you liked that piece of contrast....

despairing, so there is hope for you yet! Thanks for the links. I haven't called on the poetry gods, honest!

UL said...

"This power of the heavens reaching out,
Demanding their time to be still and watch.
They know it will be fish fingers again tomorrow,
But mother of pearl clouds not for twenty years." are my favorites

Linda Jacobs said...

You really captured the clouds in here! And I like the bits of realism with the mothers and kids and, really, the fish fingers just make the poem!

Leigh Lear said...

i like the bit about, mothers hurry children onward home, very nice. i can relate, sometimes we do need to just stop and stare at the clouds.

Jo said...

Love it!

Janice Thomson said...

Love the theme of this one Juliet - it brought back memories of youth, of laying on the grass on many a warm afternoon staring up at the clouds.
Watching the power of an approaching storm with huge cumulus clouds at age 11 was the start of my own poetic beginnings.

Brian said...

I'm this was published, it is a brilliant poem. The pull of the natural world still tugs, even though we do our best to ignore.

anthonynorth said...

Excellent poem. Whilst I'm pleased we've conquered superstition and acquired reason, we have taken it too far. To understand the symbolism of the world as the ancients did is as much about us being human as our rationality.

gautami tripathy said...

Too many great lines. I can't pick. A pleasure to read this, Juliet!

kate said...

So true - children stopping in their track to look up and wonder. Some adults do too.

I loved this poem. Thank you.

Dawn said...

Hi Juliet!

what a lovely blog you have here. I really like your poems, I will be back!Oh and can I add I am a fan of Scottish history and have been reading about it for the last year. I live in the PNW of the U.S. much like Scotland, the rain and all.

polona said...

i love anything with clouds in it (my surname does not mean 'cloud' for nothing) and this one is particularly wonderful

pepektheassassin said...

I loved that not only were astromoners looking, but also mothers and children. The ending is perfect!

quotesqueen said...

I have a scrap of paper somewhere with "mother of pearl clouds" written on it (upon seeing such clouds). Well-done!

d sinclair said...

interesting and engaging poetry, Crafty :) I've never seen such clouds myself, but if I did I'd surely take them as an omen of good fortune!

thanks for dropping by my place earlier, its always good to see you.

d

paisley said...

they say when we are young,, our minds still share memories with that which came before this life... i wonder often when i see the integrity with which children devote to things we take for granted,,, if this is not true....

nina said...

Very nice--so true how a child sees with that innocence that is lost in adults.
Knowing how magical a moment can be.

Sandy Carlson said...

This is wonderful. I have been both child and mother as you describe them here. The imagery is delectable.

Pat Paulk said...

Too busy, too sophisticated, not interested in anything beyond physical senses. At least the children see. Excellent poem!!

Christine said...

Wonderful poem- the sound is great. I had to read it aloud, and enjoyed it very much.

I was reminded of my two boys, who went out to the front yard to watch the eclipse.

sister AE said...

These clouds you describe are magical.

watermaid said...

This is beautiful. I love the mother of pearl imagery. Would that we kept our childlike eyes. I subscribe to Acumen, which is my favourite publication. I prefer their selections to either Mslexia or The New Writer.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Watermaid - I think Mslexia is excellent in terms of the writing advice it gives and its articles but its selection of creative writing isn't as good as Acumen you're right. This poem was in Acumen a long time ago....