The Cloud

Capulin Volcano National Monument, NM | polaroid photo by author

Written as a tribute to Shelley’s The Cloud on the 200th anniversary of his death

Once I floated with heavy choke
above these plains,
poison laden, a viscous cocktail
of ash and gas
above a boiling sea of rock

My sisters rained to cool its wrath
who responded with a hiss
and a blackening visage
that would capsize if it
could only reach the bay

Land forming, land expanding
hot earth in flux
with violence becoming
a decade of upheaval, spawning offspring
that made clouds of their own

Transformation complete, the mountain
rests, and I, more benign,
bring life instead of death
raining green breath, tied with a bow
that smiles through pointed teeth

Trickster, I float above the
silent mouth in pretend recollection
of what once was
striking with fire at the stone in petulant mood
but mostly I remain a shady memory
of the drama of the past


Recently (July 5th) we visited the Capulin Volcano National Monument, on a whim since we were driving past. It’s a terrific place! I noticed as we left that a cloud was floating above the mountain, obviously *not* a volcanic cloud but a pleasing echo of one; I made a couple of photos with a couple of cameras and we drove on.

When I learned, thanks to The Poetry Society‘s instagram, that it was the 200th anniversary of Shelley’s death, I decided to read “The Cloud and write whatever it inspired as a tribute to a wonderful poet who lived an interesting life and died young. Of course the first thing that came to mind was the cloud over Capulin, and yadda yadda yadda, here’s the poem! Thanks for reading!

PS another photo of Capulin, from the truck, and one of Baby Capulin (both digital photographs, made with Canon MarkIII and a Lensbaby Burnside 35 – a lens I adore for both film and digital)

Baby Capulin is the more distinct volcano shape (and smaller), but the form in front of it with a rim of trees is also an extinct volcano

Published by amyjasek

Film photographer, mother, positively passionate about life in general, Texan : )

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