Sea of Clouds

On the 15th of September I began this run of poetry practice, writing a poem a day and posting it within that twenty-four hour period.  I have done a month of poem a day before for NaPoWriMo (or GloPoWriMo if you live outside the USA), but today marks a new development as I step into Month 2 of a poem a day writing practice.

I decided to set myself a challenge. To the best of my knowledge I have never tackled a sestina before. This poetry form does not end rhyme (not my natural forté), but is syllabic. A sestina is thirty-nine lines long, made of six stanzas of six lines, capped with a final tercet. There is a recurring motif of a stanza’s final word being repeated at the end of the following stanza’s first line.

We have a friend that Tony used to work for at The Organic Centre who started up the Irish Cloud Appreciation Society. This could be dedicated to Hans. Both of us were oohing and aahing as we drove home from doing life laundry tasks over in Fermanagh earlier today.

Sea of clouds


Swan’s down swirling, cloud tuille-thin letting in

sunshine and out and through, scudding puttputtputt,

a puffpuffpuffy streamer circles, forms

a blue lagoon above the horizon.

Around Cuilcagh Mountain cloud crannogs sit,

very prim, very pretty, declaring


themselves autonomous, declaring

independence, with the pride worn by

surplus womanhood. Here we stand. And sit.

It is our sky, too. Cloud republics.

We are no satellite states, dutybound.

Nor will we be vassals of Father Sky.


If neither church nor canvas, this wide sky

is consort to, covering Mother Earth.

Where the green and grey and blue reflection

shimmers it meets ocean at horizon.

And there dissolve into mist, rain, whiteness.

Meanwhile, wisps flick like willow angels,


those fairy fleece ones as treetop angels

at Christmas when sky is low and stern

as Saturn, Chronos as sad Santa sack.

We need to believe in angels. Perhaps

the clouds really are auguries, beings

sweeping across, fleet flying to save us.


For we misstep and mess up, all of us.

So much they allot us all guardians

to stem the self-harm, sorrow, misery,

until even agnostics live in hope.

For surely that is blue sky thinking’s brand,

with its islands, lagoons, dragon boats.


For sure we put out to sky like sea boats,

set off in St. Brendan’s coracle

on peregrinations out past Corry,

where the wind turbines currently wear a

Magritte styled hat, wool stolen from Jason,

winter beanies braving stiff –fingered gales.



Up the barrage balloons! Take to the life boats!

Send signals for the souls of all of us.

Save our souls, o ye band of angels!


Copyright © 2018 Bee Smith


Featured image

Photo by Holger Link on Unsplash

2 thoughts on “Sea of Clouds

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