Â An approaching cold front yesterday brought clearing skies and strong winds that pushed tattered clouds before the leading edge of it.
The thermometer dropped back into all to familiar territory. Â Again. For six more weeks, the groundhog says.
I suppose I am among a small number of people who so easily mesmerized by this particular combination of light and shadow. I am compelled to stand and watch the familiar washed by dizzying stroboscopic racing cloud shadows. The effect isÂ especially wonderful at night.
I don’t do poetry, but if I did, it would look something like this, from 2002, and recorded inÂ What We Hold In Our Hands: a Slow Road Reader. After that a link to a 30 second video of cloud shadows from the front porch yesterday to help you get the idea, if you have never observed this wonderful phenomenon.
Blue razor shadows tangle bare bones of trees against the shoulders of hills
white daggers dark translucent buried in new snow
Vision silver bright burns seamless memory from sigh of wind, smell of cold
And then, a motion, somewhere, movement–
It is the flicker of a silent movie and again.
Not movement sudden faintly at the edge of vision subtle, massive and unnamed.
With lunacy and light the valley fills, empties as dark waves surge past,
and again a fleet of cloudships propelled by moonbeams.
White light and blue, they come in liquid shadows shades of gray
the size of meadows
Surging from behind us–under our feet
poured into creeks and quickly away rising without effort
under snow under oaks to the top of the ridge and gone.
And the world flashes from life to death
from shadow of cloud to light of the Unfamiliar
and I am terrified and I am made whole
– a frail vapor so close to heaven and
so In love with this pulsing world.
I should be able to embed a video. I am not, no matter how I parse it. So apologies, here’s the link. Cloud Shadows YouTube February 5, 2014
2 thoughts on “Lunacy and Light”
No poet here either, but I love the video. Reminds me of the opposite – chasing sun patches across the landscape back in December?
Good poem, Fred! Especially when combined with the video, so those folks who have not had much opportunity to witness cloud shadows can connect better with your poem’s descriptions. I have enjoyed racing cloud shadows when driving across the Great Plains on several occasions, but I have never been out in the moonlight on a windy night. Too chicken to face the wind chill factor.