Sunny — picking through

things on the ground

of what’s left here and above

                                          Cloudy indecision —

                                          rain up there doing a maybe

The warm dirt is full of life

The green bin is full of life

                           Hazy blue as if


                           clouds want to appear


                                          Walking home

                                          we see a small dead raptor

                                               on a roof

                                          its wings wave in the strong breeze —

                                               flying while dead

When clouds call out they say

     nothing — in them rain breath

unfinished sentences — nothing’s secure

     But it’s beautiful like swimming

through blue 

                                         I keep sniffing downpour

                                         but sunlight clashes in like a clown

                                              confusing me

The bus stops and starts

as though it’s spring weather

done and always undoing

                          Old roof lines

                               fluffy cumulus —

                          ancient sea renewing itself

                                          Horsetails and whispers to the north

Overcast —

picking through things on the ground —

     come, let’s look up as well as down

                                          The cold’s complaining

                                          a parrot’s complaining the length of the block

                                          The bus is always complaining —

                                               everything you read

                                          Someone wants to take on the bus driver

                                          it’s not his fault : it’s no-one’s fault

                                               it’s everyone’s fault —

                                          At least we’re given clouds today

                                               at least they’re not dead yet

Inside the air’s happy

outside it’s a grey old veil —

     both of these conditions are real

                           Dark clouds to the north-east —

                                the last two days have been

                           a struggle with weariness

                                Do clouds struggle —

Maybe I collect too many syllables

or set up more unfinished

     sentences closer to clouds or rain

the rain I hear falling on the glass roof —

     that sharpened clutter : that rush

more like sound effects

     than ‘the real thing’

pooling on the forecourt —

     people and doors hesitate

                                          Houses seem done

                                          and undone

                                          lakes spread on vacant allotments

                                              as if becoming

The ravens are around again

     What else is around — a swirl

of clouds — traffic hovering

     thought of sleep in the midst

of day — the reality of waking

at 3am — the planet’s fire : the planet’s ice

     No wonder I lean on the fence

as if it’s the place to be

     as if it will come back —

                                          The moon pushes towards the full —

                                          is it simply a relic of the old tide

                                               moving beneath my skin

By nightfall I’m expansive

     along the footpath there’s an overflow

— remnants of trees and possibly sky — dogs

     are active along fences or at a gate

Everything seems welcome —

     each twig looks like it just got here

ready for all the other twigs and seeds —

     soon more things will fall

                                          Full moon — penumbral eclipse

                                               surrounded by clouds

                            Night notches the sky’s farness

                                 ancient and future strife in its eye

Here’s the wet dark of things —

     every cold drop on my skin —

I can’t quite catch what it tastes of

Note: Most of the sky/weather observations in this poem are from a 2021 diary

Jill Jones reads 'Blue Among a Map of Clouds'