When Clouds Reach Down

When clouds reach down to kiss the earth
in an encounter of love that
only moves one way
the ground weeps
as she displays the brokenness
of bricks and branches
that result
from the clouds’


Karin Gustafson of Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads was recently in a marketplace in Mexico, and she got to thinking about the many different ways that an exchange might take place.  She wants us to write about exchanges in one way or another…but not necessarily as in a marketplace…

About a week or so ago, my wife and I saw a developing funnel cloud.  It never touched the ground (and so could not be classified as a tornado), but the experience put the first line of this poem in my mind.

With the prompt, and with that one line buzzing around in my head, I thought about an exchange, of sorts, that takes place between two people (or things), but where one is an unwilling participant.  Even forced, there is an exchange that takes place…but it leaves one party broken.  I realized after writing the piece that if I center aligned the poem, it would look just a bit like a funnel cloud…so the shape is a happy accident.


8 thoughts on “When Clouds Reach Down

  1. I love the title of the poem, how it leads so naturally into the first lines. The sight of a funnel cloud forming overhead must be awesome.

  2. Thank you for sharing your “happy accident” – I think the shape of it works well indeed. The ground weeping brings powerful emotion, the “clouds reaching down to kiss the earth” a sensual and memorable image.

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