The Sky










Have you seen Gavin Pretor-Pinney’s TED talk about cloud-watching? It’s one of my current favorites. He sounds like a poet when he talks about the importance of slowing down, doing “nothing,” using your imagination to find shapes in the clouds, and feeling connected to the natural world.



[ted id=1780]


This poem, a first draft at this point, was inspired by his talk and by his Cloud Appreciation Society.


Cloud Watching

Look up!
See the sky?
Drop what you’re holding.
Ignore its thud.
Find a cloud’s ragged edge.
Watch it glide across the snow globe dome above your head.
Name the cotton creatures evolving as they go by.
Let your thoughts fly.
Feel yourself grow.
Remember, you’re not looking at the sky.
You’re standing in it.


My friend Cynthia Grady is hosting Mortimer today. I hope you’ll hop on over to visit her.

For more Poetry Friday, visit Merely Day By Day.

8 replies
  1. Catherine Johnson says:

    I can’t listen to that in the library but so funny I should read it today. On our way home from selling apples with the scouts the clouds looked like marshmallow teeth and then the kids saw all sorts of things I didn’t see. Wonderful! I love ‘ignore its thud’ nice poem Liz.

  2. Buffy Silverman says:

    Love “the snow globe dome above your head.” And the reminder to look at clouds–I loved finding creatures in the clouds (and hearing what my kids saw in them too.)

  3. Bridget Magee says:

    Perfect reminder to s-l-o-w down and “be in the sky”. Love it! One downside of living in the land of non-stop sunshine is that we don’t get clouds too often. But when we do I always look for shapes. =)

  4. haitiruth says:

    What a fantastic post! Thank you! I shared it on Facebook. You’re right – he does sound like a poet.

  5. readingtothecore says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this! I love your poem and the image of the “snow globe dome” above our heads. Gavin’s advice to “tune into the clouds to slow down, calm down” is exactly what I needed this evening. Happy cloud-watching!

  6. Tabatha says:

    I like your poem very much! I’d like to see your final draft so I can save a copy for myself 🙂 The Cloud Appreciation Society reminds me of the Dark Sky Awareness stuff I posted last week — sort of the “flip side” of it!

  7. Michelle Heidenrich Barnes says:

    It’s insane that these days we feel a need to justify looking up at the sky simply because we are not spending those moments being “busy” with something else. I get a sense of relief just listening to that TED talk, and your poem is a beautiful reflection of that relief as well. We should all aspire to reclaim our mastery of daydreaming!

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