Saturday, July 5, 2014

Cloudy, With Serpents

Cloudy. With Serpents

You moved thin hands across me,
clouds writing over the sky,
thread-fingers ice-cold, shy,
drifting from March to June.

When night's shoulder
darkened earth-rim blue,
you left your markless mark, wrote  
 your vapor signature, a nacreous tattoo

of dragon coils, drake's cirriform breath
masking a naked rune:
your  sailor's heart, caught
in a different  moon. 

~June 2014 

55 snake-shaped  clouds of polar ice crystals for the ghosts

Shared under a Creative Commons license
Snakes, 1969, by M.C. Escher, via
May be protected by copyright, shared under fair use guidelines


  1. Bear with me, friends--I wrote this last month, to be prepared, which was fortunate, as I am rather wordless at the moment, with a tired muse, getting over a nasty summer bug. Hopefully will be up to some reading, writing and poetry-chomping soon.

  2. Love this, Hedge!! Sorry to hear your under the weather...hope you're feeling better soon.

    I love this, "night's shoulder/darkened earth-rim blue," and the "vapor signature," and I always enjoy a musing on dragons and moons.

    You covered a lot in 55! Excellent!

  3. sorry to hear you were unwell joy...hopefully that is behind you...

    i like the use of the body throughout....the hands / fingers / shoulders...the shoulders line is my fav for sure....the use of clouds throughout as well...cirriform sounds almost line cuniform which plays well with the writing...

  4. Perfect poem which fits the photo so well, I read the words and looked at the image as I did so. Beautiful colours in that sky. I agree with previous comments on the use of words.

  5. Wow! You had me at the title, Hedge. This poem is like manna to one who has been starving in the desert of null internet: every line is crystal in its conveyance of the sense of touch, whether of corporeal fingers, or the cold trails of atmosphere or both. Exquisite.

  6. Very interesting, so many facets to ponder. My favorite is the "markless mark" of a tattoo nature that is left by ____ (??) Wonder if I've ever left any of those? I will never know but have some left on my 'bod' that I cherish.
    I also learned a new word, "nacreous". There are several meanings, mostly related as an 'appearance'. I don't remember all of the cloud types but I had forgotten this one, nacreous. Pearls (pearl like synonym) are like this too, but I had never thought about that.
    Thank you.

    1. I also enjoyed figuring out your three snake crest illustration.
      Lovely even if it does have snakes. :)

    2. Love the earthiness here--Mother of all--with Sky, and the rhymes moving like waves along the surface--a moon in spring and a different one as dark rises. These are the greatest lovers in all of their forms.

  7. Hope your cold takes its leave, and no more of this nonsense in summer.
    I loved this poem, that had a haiku feeling to it. I am fascinated by clouds and my father-in-law's dad was a meteorologist so we get into sharing pics and news about them. He'd like this so much.

  8. Hang in there and feel better! I loved this, especially the last stanza--hope your muse peeks in on you soon

  9. So sorry you're under the weather. I do love this poem's descriptiveness and sensuality. I also learned what a "nacreous" cloud is!

  10. Nights shoulder... That is a gorgeous phrase. This poem makes me want to camp out and just gaze up at the night sky. I haven't done that enough.

    This poem makes me think of a lover that demands little and is gone all too soon...

  11. a map
    or a calendar
    marking anatomical
    movements in the dark
    unless the light is so bright:

    the title is a total KEEPER
    and I am always so pleased to
    feel a parting poetic punch

    your sailor's heart, caught
    in a different moon.

    I'm also seeing anchor neck tattoos
    and mermaid full back coverage
    in a dockside boozer with fog, romance
    and menace

    is this yet another intrusive thought
    or a consequence of your poem

    it doesnt matter -

    I like it either way!


  12. I hope you feel better HW ~ I admire each line, night 'sshoulders, markless mark, naked rune, sailor's heart ~ Beautiful work ~

  13. Not much to divine from a naked rune, or, perhaps, everything. I love the title you chose for this, and the poem which follows doesn't disappoint. There is such a feeling of a cold breeze blowing by in the night, or at least, one that may have begun warm but turned cold as it departed. (Or was it allowed to go by? Maybe a some of both.)

  14. This is really magical work, Hedge. I hope that you feel better soon!

  15. blogger, argh. this is so pretty in its moodiness. i hope you are starting to feel better!

  16. Thanks everyone--on the road to normality now--will try to return visits tomorrow.

  17. Dear Joy--I'm so sorry that you are not feeling well. Agh--the worst to be ill in summer.

    Your poem has your stamp--I especially love the opening, which seems to me to be a really great description of early love, and I especially liked here the movements from March to June, which seemed so clever and sly, but also just sweet. The thing cold hands, also had such a sense of youth about them--the poem then, of course, turns darker, and your description of this like the Earth's rim is wonderfully vivid, and a bit like falling off of it==as the world turns--and in the end, what had seemed a genuinely young lover (my traditional mind thinks boy) turns out to be someone rather perpetually young, or at least rootless-- the sailing brings up the earth's rim again

    The sky and skin thing in the first stanza is also especially lovely as I can imagine a certain kind of pale skin--as those clouds--my skin is a bit more influenced by a laplander-like grandmother, but I had aunts of that ilk. k.

  18. Rest up and feel better, Hedge. I am struggling too.....we'll recover if life gets its foot off our throats for five minutes.......I love the "clouds writing over the sky".....and, especially, the closing lines.

  19. Finally ~~ a minute to catch up with my favorite poets (one of them is you.) Sorry to learn you haven't been well. Feel better soon. Karin is right, this poem is YOU.

  20. Needed that cool breeze. Feel better, ya hear? ~

  21. Glad you're feeling better Hedge, the fray has missed you much --- A gem of construction here, laddering gently and surely through the stations of a fleeting embrace. What is it about island girls and sailor boys? Arrival and departure's so, um, archetypally fraught. But the marinal metaphor is aerial here, and the dragon ship arriving waves of cirrus, writes love-letters in "cirriform." (Brilliant!) Cloudy gestures resolving into the same old naked rune. Seems like you're drinking whup-ass tea for the healing tillerwoman, whetting your nib-axe for a fresh foray cleaning necks of heads. Look forward to seeing you fired up and ready to roll.

  22. I have been in a writing funk also, but not from illness. It seems the words have drained from my pen. Glad you are feeling better. I love the title of this piece which you have described perfectly with your words.


"We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, out of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry." ~William Butler Yeats

Comment Moderation Has Been Enabled