Away from shadows and wilting.

For a half hour I walked my loop bending backward to take pictures of these crazy clouds. They filled the whole sky.

After a while I thought maybe they were blending together too much to be quite as interesting, and my neck was getting tired. By then I was closer to home noticing the street view, and several unwatered lawns in the neighborhood with a cheery wildflower/weed display:


So much gloom and doubt in our poetry –
flowers wilting on the table,
the self regarding itself in a watery mirror.

Dead leaves cover the ground,
the wind moans in the chimney,
and the tendrils of the yew tree inch toward the coffin.

I wonder what the ancient Chinese poets
would make of all this,
these shadows and empty cupboards?

Today, with the sun blazing in the trees,
my thoughts turn to the great
tenth-century celebrators of experience,

Wa-Hoo, whose delight in the smallest things
could hardly be restrained,
and to his joyous counterpart in the western provinces,

-Billy Collins

9 thoughts on “Away from shadows and wilting.

  1. Those are amazing clouds. I mostly love to look at clouds except for the solid grey ones that seem to weigh a person down. We’re having some of those here this past week and today. The rain keeps coming down but at least we’re not having floods and hurricanes. I am thankful.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Aren’t those clouds called Mare’s Tails? Here in Nashville this morning we had a few like that but the majority of what I could see was pure Buttermilk Sky. By 8:30 they were gone but gorgeous while it lasted.

    When I see a Billy Collins poem I think of Poppy in Crete who did her best to turn me on to her favorite poet. I’m afraid I just have a prose-tuned mind. He was here in Nashville last fall and I wasn’t up to going as my little dachshund had just died but friends had him sign a book for me. I did my best to get into it but knew Poppy would appreciate it more so sent it her way. I probably would have loved hearing him read his poems himself that night.

    Liked by 1 person

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