Dutch Clouds Are Boring
By Alexandra Yep
People love Dutch clouds the painters paint, Their white reach small, their outlines faint. These are the clouds we picture. But have you seen them holding skies? The perfectness that dignifies The Dutch cloud as a fixture In our minds is really nothing but Cumulus Humilis as far as the gaze can strut. When you see it, you will be disappointed, Like when you try to touch one And think of fog. The Dutch one Has no edges, anointed With tame breezes. Give me Updrafts, jet streams, instability. Give me American clouds, fat And vicious, layered from stratus To wispy cirrus, from undulatas To riblike uncinus. Give me cumulus that Respects itself, mottled alto-, hoary nimbo-, Stormhead heaped to heavy limbo. The loudest silence breaks in thunder, The day after Valentine’s worth The winter. Mine are clouds of girth, Clouds of stature. Let me fall under Hailstorm. The glow is worth the fear. The price of our troposphere Is tornado warnings, the price of brilliance, Insanity. Keep your fluff, I’ll take the face-clouds, rough Gales for lightning, risk for excellence. Better boring than bad, I used to say, until I had A man as ambitious as thunderhead, Until I breathed, let the whirlwinds reach me. Humilis has nothing left to teach me. I’ll be in love, inspired, or dead. Cumulonimbus mammatus so fiercely crests The stratosphere, its airmass sinks and forms breasts. At least I know peril and beauty run together. At least the rain-winds slant me And the sunlight. Let it refract. Grant me Weather.