xON ONE YOUNGER THAN I AM
Taken all too soon, a friend has flatlined and is now
Out of the picture. Which picture is meant? What does it show?
Immobility? This painting of these clouds above
Those chimneys on that day. Might it suggest just that?
A stillness which is how it seems on some windless
Afternoon? A stretch of grandiose pageantry?
We know its stationary quality for an attractive lie.
Even chimneys have their day. Time’s breezes overtake
The world’s rotation. Also the clouds keep changing
In relation to each other. Some will evaporate faster than
Their neighbours – who may say that they were taken
Far too soon. Some will break, pour down, soaking the lawn.
Some rise up higher, changing their nature, floating
In a sky more rarified. Only in the moment, as we glance,
Is there a coherent view, a fleeting notion of a generation.
Every cloudscape has its hour, and yes, our being here
Conveys a sense of lasting. Yes, we make our lives
Together, even if there are those fated to disappear
Sooner than expected. Generations move like caravans
Crossing the waste. One may start off earlier than the next,
Ending the trek just as the other sights its destination.
Sooner than is meant, we say of one who has made us aware
If only for a while, of how we have made the world
In which we have shared; tapestry woven together by
The threads we are – the scene rolls on only in our relationships.
Rolls on and away, as the clouds have done since clouds
Began – our best hope being that it is with pride
That we can say that we were the clouds that sailed together
And on, beyond the revolving horizon, on a particular day.