Cloud Watching

The clouds are dramatic today,
black bottomed and reaching tall,
white and billowing high.

Some cluster like sailboats in the blue sea sky,
floating slowly across the fields
their sails full.

Down below,
wildflowers in purples and golden yellow and white
blow in the breeze,
danced upon by butterflies.

The sweet smell of warm clover
and hot wet grass
comes and goes,
the earth bakes hot and the crickets almost drown out
the chirping of the birds.

I can see the grey smoothness of the rain
miles away
floating quietly closer,
in between patches of bright blue sky.

A church spire gleams brilliantly in the distance,
under a spotlight,
until a cloud passes and the spotlight turns off.

Out here, the sky is bigger than the earth.
Summer in farmland.

Take time, calm your mind, settle. I find this easiest in nature, where things are slower, move like undercurrents at their own pace, unnoticed during the normal frenzy of our daily lives.

Victorian poets, and writers more generally, went into nature, observed it and wrote about it in beautiful detail. Richard D. Atlick explains this historical affinity to nature in the Nature-Loving Victorians:

Victorians inherited an emotional attachment to landscape that, if Wordsworth were still to be believed, could serve as an adjunct to formal religion, often indeed as a surrogate faith, a source of reassurance and orientation in an increasingly complex and ugly world.


Nature is one of my favourite subjects for writing and contemplation. If given a few minutes to stare off into space in a park, in the countryside, at the beach, in my garden, I will usually be struck by inspiration and I often find that line after line rolls at me like waves, needing to be committed to paper.


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