Albert Bierstadt - Niagara Falls
Doorway ornament - D.R. Wagner
In this valley the clouds seem confused.
And not knowing which way to turn
Finally give up their burden and disperse.
They don't do this without consideration.
They know, as any god-fearing cloud would
What is required of them and rain
Is not always the answer, although more often
Than not it seems to be.
The small streams gorge themselves
On these recent clouds and soon the roads
Are flooded. The carefully cultivated
Fields are gutted of their patterns
And sent awry in a weltering of gray rain,
On gray days, in gray landscapes
Until all feel the decision of the clouds
Not to hold their position in the air,
Not to spell out the weather but rather
Be it in eddying puddles surrounded
By squalls of European starlings making
Their crazy suggestions to the atmosphere
One could do worse than be a cloud,
Voice of thunder, voice of rain,
Often challenged. but never blamed
For their roil of wet which came
As a surprise to us tonight, watching the
Clouds in flight. The hills caress
Their last remains and set them free
To form again.