Head in the Clouds – a poem by Ellen Chia

Head in the Clouds

Can you ever ask a cloud
To slow down for you,
To stay in such and such
A shape or formation
Of your fancy?

Unfettered, those sky gypsies
Are shapeshifters drifting
Across the endless azure plains,
Doing what they do best –
Inventing and reinventing
Themselves as they go along,
Offering no apologies whatsoever
For not having lived up
To your expectations.

Whilst there have been attempts
To classify them with names
With the likes of cumulus, cirrus,
Stratus, fractus and altocumulus,
Such a list remains inadequate
In the light of their morphing fluidity;
Providing them with ample room
To manoeuvre from the
Limiting labels stamped on them.

Naturally, they are aerial surveyors
In constant contemplation of
The vast expanses,
Amassing as they go along
A trove of variant perspectives
Beyond our accessibility.
And when the occasion
Calls for them to unburden,
They leap into their next
Earthbound adventure;
Finding themselves

Absorbed into a
Gravity-defying vessel tour
In the interior of an
Arboreal antiquity,

Frolicking amongst whales
And other sea monsters,

Another time, plunging over
Some precipices in a
Tropical jungle

Or meditating as a glacier
Beside an emperor penguin

Life’s possibilities are for them as
Inexhaustible on earth as it is
In the atmosphere.
And often in my life,
I have wished to be this
Fluid and adventuresome.


Ellen Chia  lives in Thailand and enjoys going on solitary walksin woodlands and along beaches where Nature’s treasure trove impels her to document her findings and impressionsusing the language of poetry. Her works have been published and forthcoming in The Ekphrastic Review, Nature Writing,The Honest Ulsterman, Zingara Poetry Review and The Tiger Moth Review.

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