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SEA Currents Blog

SEA Currents: Corwith Cramer

December 16, 2015

Cloud Poetry

Kennedy Holland, Colette Kelly, Katie Lyon

Oceans & Climate

Beautiful Dominica Sunset Clouds

15° 34’ N x 061° 27’W

At Anchor in Prince Rupert Bay, Portsmouth, Dominica

Souls on Board

And now for some cloud poetry from the ship's company:

Cumu-love story

With clear skies and the sun shining,
I miss the days of us together.
Cumulus clouds perfectly combining,
We were one, you as my lover.

Your shape intrigues me, so fluffy and white,
The contours entice me so,
I'll love you well into the night,
Trust me, there will be no lows.

Moving with the wind, we used to be free,
Out of happiness I cried.
Rising up high, altocumulus we'd be,
Forming rows, side by side.

Suddenly, the sun would appear,
You'd pull me in, "Come closer, my dear,"
My heart raced, all thoughts disappeared
We descended once more, together as one

I saw you the other day, peering at that other cloud,
I know cirrus can be delicate and smooth,
But soon you'll witness how I can be loud.
You left me for those soft white streaks, what a jerk move.

You thoughtthat I was tall before, but I grow and grow
Higher up into the sky, darkening as I go
I release my attack on innocents below,
Just like me, they'll never see the pain coming.

Angry at you, I cry my tears,
Soaking the earth beneath me.
I cover any inch of sky that's near,
Erupting with lightning for you to see

As I grow, you can hear me roar,
My thunder is extreme
Are you still begging for more,
Or are you with your cirrus dream?


In the city, a strip of sky is all you get,
A patch of blue or white or gray reflected in the wet
Sidewalks of Broadway in the morning

Between hedgerows of skyscrapers, cirrus clouds are fenced
Unless you climb the fire escape to the tenth
Floor of 601 West 100th Street

You can see the stratus clouds fork
Across the Hudson River to West New York
Which is actually a city in New Jersey

And who knew that
On the ocean, the horizon stretches in all directions
And the sky is a platter of cumulus meatballs and cirrostratus spaghetti

Either way,
The same water here forming ice shards high into the sky
Fills the gutters and storm drains of the Lower East Side
And snows on those whom we have left behind

The blood and sweat and tears
That evaporated here
Will travel through the atmosphere
And rain on your brother in Rhode Island

And they say that the gates of heaven are a stained brown diaper
Hanging below a deck crystal
From strips of silver duct tape
Peeling from the ceiling with the damp
But I think

Heaven is irrelevant when
Janet fiddles the day into night
Heaven is irrelevant
When a purple sun lights the cirrocumulus from behind
And sends a crepuscular ray Northwest
Towards home


Filaments of vapor
High up in the air
Or billowing puffs
Spilling over mountain tops all catching the light
And scattering to our delight
In shades of lavender and indigo
Tangerine and pink
Golden in this time
As we all start to unwind



Untitled Bits

I've been trying to write a poem about clouds
for six days now.  Maybe more.

I'm giving up; time for haikus.  Nevermind.

How can I write a poem about clouds
When I don't have a thing to say about them?
Am I lacking words because
the subject's too small or too large?

A thing I like about clouds is they won't
let themselves be tied down in my poem.
They're evasive, they're free.

When I look to the sky, at the clouds drifting by,
I can't get a sense of their scale.

Clouds are autonomous.

To hell with poetry, I'll lay on
my back with an eye to the sky
and I'll let the clouds speak for themselves


Categories: Corwith Cramer,Oceans & Climate, • Topics: c263  port stops  caribbean. • (2) Comments
Previous entry: With the Gannets    Next entry: Seas the Day


#1. Posted by Colette's Dad on December 18, 2015

Wow Colette, how Positively 100th Street. It’s like something Billy Collins might write while being pelted with meatballs thrown by Beck singing his loser baby song. Awesome. Hope to see you soon in (West) New York. Love, Papa

#2. Posted by Amy Thornton on December 19, 2015

Dear Corwith Cramer crew,

You are breaking our hearts! Although we want you home and miss you terribly, we can see how difficult it will be to leave your beloved Mama Cramer, crew, and the sea. The best of life is all about community and meaningful work, isn’t it? And moving our bodies under the sun, connected to earth’s rhythms, not those of the digital pseudo world to which we are all tethered. How do we create community, meaning, and stay connected to the stars, sun, big water, towering mountains, and black crumbly soil? How do we keep our heads up, out of our screens, observing life around us?

Shout out to our beloved Colette and her slam cloud poem. I read it out loud and heard your voice, perhaps at a Pacem slam poem event, speaking it with cadence and humor and guts.

Hugs to all of you, even though I don’t know most.


PS Colette, in case we don’t connect before you are on the flight home, we are spending a night in an oceanside B&B on the night you return as it will be too late to drive home that night. Hopefully, the sight of the ocean, although we will be on land, will ease you back into this life here.



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