Reading the Thoughts of Clouds

The clouds do not speak to us as clouds
they talk of things other than weather,
at times they appear like a train’s readable smoke
or as a plane’s contrail scribbling a message
against the blue notion of sky

today, while hiking, they stretch for miles
in a language of wisp-like strands, as a long running sentence
through mountains and we stand, we look up, saying
if we just stay long enough we’ll know
what they have given the sky,
they have given ourselves.

To know ourselves, we say,
is to also know these streaks which turn fingerlike
pointing things out to us, what they mean when they come
with storms or sun shining through.


Therese Halscheid‘s latest poetry collection, Uncommon Geography (Carpenter Gothic) won a Finalist Award for the Paterson Poetry Book Prize. Therese also received a Greatest Hits chapbook award by Pudding House Publications. Her poetry has appeared in such magazines as Bellevue Literary Review, Connecticut Review, The Dos Passos Review, The Natural Bridge, Saw Palm and Rhino. Aside from publications, she has received fellowships from NJ State Council on the Arts and the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation. She is a visiting writer in schools through NJ and Alaskan Arts Councils and has been a teaching artist for the National Endowment of the Arts’ Poetry Out Loud program. Outside the States, she has taught in England and Russia. She is a contributing editor of Story Quarterly, based at Rutgers University, NJ, where she is pursuing her MFA.

Reading the Thoughts of Clouds has originally appeared in print in Blueline.

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