Archive for the Clouds Category

A Short & Illustrated Thought #60

Posted in Clouds, corn, cornfield, Mt. Tom, Photography, Vermont, Woodstock on July 22, 2014 by smpiv



Amongst the corn

telling no secrets

–I’d been warned.



close to consciousness,

took a breath.


From a breeze

etched in green

& white butter



Passed out

in dirt & dung

& sprung to life,


Air, humid hung

brazed & burnt

by a sun.


Poorly kept

this furtive; this lemon-drawn

note.  Stooped & overheard—

this cricket-corn.


I had been warned.



A Short and Illustrated Thought #16

Posted in Clouds, Photography, Ray Bradbury, Willie McCool, Yuri Gagarin on June 6, 2012 by smpiv

Ray B left today to shake God’s hand.


Yuri G looked God in the face,

98 minutes to introduce our race.


Willie McCool and his crew,

left for a better look,

then his hand they shook.


Such a short ride

to get to the other side.


Ain’t life grand?

The History of Clouds Part I or a fleeting, purposeful exercise

Posted in Autobiographical, Clouds, Exercise on November 3, 2010 by smpiv

Do you look at clouds?  I do.

Not as I used to as a child.  Not trying to find shapes.  Not looking askance at dark clouds thinking the worst.  No, now I look at them as fellow travelers; as beings that grow and die like I will—imperfect in shape, color and heft, but for the briefest, shining moment when they are noticed by someone like me, beautiful.

Like most of us I enjoy a sunset.  My less than perfect color vision renders them differently than most of you, but the prismic hues still arch through their finite order and infinite tones to tingle my optic nerves.  Clouds, often, standing by to deliver the punch. 

However I tend to enjoy sunrises more.  Perhaps it’s the solitude of the morning as the first light meanders through the hour to light our morning rounds.  Again it’s the clouds that often put an edge on the morning.  Those colors, that reflected light, are much bolder than the waning light of the evening.  Reds, mostly, scorching the underside of a morning, partly clouded sky.

Red sky in morning, sailors take warning.  Red sky at night, sailors delight.

I of course am not the first to take notice of clouds, hardly.  Alfred Stieglitz regaled us with his Equivalents—a number of photographs of clouds that he used as abstracts and an extension of Kandindky’s belief that colors, shapes, and lines reflect the inner self.   

Painters too use clouds in any number of ways to reflect light, project light, and/or to set a mood.  They are, more often than not, used as a supporting cast to define the portrait sitter, the finely stood horse, or as an ominous anvil set over a sailing ship going to sea, or a puffy corsage to greet that same ship on its return.

Some of my favorite clouds are movie clouds.  John Ford often had his cast riding purposefully through Monument Valley with huge puffy, black and white clouds moving just as purposefully across the big Western sky.  I often wonder if they knew they were part of a Western.

The most glaring lack of clouds was 9/11.  A bolt blue sky made a tragic, defining day that much more defined.  No room for interpretation.

So the clouds I look at now are Vermont clouds.  These clouds that come together over the Green Mountains and then to be broken up over those same mountains.  To drop snow when it’s cold enough and rain when it’s not. 

The ones I like best though are the ones that reflect and mirror the mountains.  They are puffy white and move with movie-cloud purpose.  The mountains rise to meet them, but not quite, while the clouds expand and contract as the earthly convections changes from valley to peak.  Their dark shadows expand and contract as they move through those same valleys and peaks.

I love the dynamic movement of this relationship that will only last as long as I look at it.  But, I stare as long as it’s polite and quite often as long as I can safely stay in my lane.

Yes I look at clouds.  Not as I did as a child, but with the same fascination and wonder that made me first look up.  So, please, bury me right side up.