Jerry's Cruising Poems

The King of Clouds

The King of Clouds came from the west just as the sun went down.
His robe was royal purple and he wore a golden crown.
He rose with regal majesty to tower in my sight.
I lowered topsails in respect for his imposing might.
I saw why ancients called him God and prayed for mercy mild.
His distant aspect was serene. Up close I knew was wild.
The full moon shone upon his face, so solemn, grey and wrinkled,
While swirls of silver wreathed his head and lightning flashed and twinkled.
I thought he eyed me icily, a slight curl on his lip.
Oh would he let me pass in peace or pound my little ship?
What could I do or say to stop the onrush of his might?
Perhaps my time had come at last. My throat was choked in fright.
I looked at him with reverence, and spoke my case aloud.
I tried to bridge the mammoth gap between Man and a cloud.
"My Lord I fear your awesome power to raise both winds and seas.
I only have a tiny boat. Oh show us mercy, please."

I knew, of course, there was no chance of getting a reply.
Without an ear or voice or mind, a cloud's just fog in sky
But wouldn't it be wonderful if such a cloud could speak,
Could tell of lonely wanderings among Earth's lofty peaks,
Of journeys over continents and crossings of all seas,
Observing, analyzing all it feels and all it sees,
The changes it has witnessed since the time the world began,
Dispensing all its wisdom as an oracle to Man?
Could he provide solutions to our sorrows and our strife,
Unveil some hidden mysteries which are the keys to life,
And sing us songs of beauty, bring us joy to replace woe,
Or would he sneer at petty men who scurry far below?
If he had mind why would he care about the race of men -
That spreading mass which warps the earth to suit its selfish ends?
Ignore them, keep to lofty roads, and soon they'll go away,
While he will still be riding high in his unchanging way,
A glorious mass of swirling mist that plays round mountain tops
And grandly soars o'er grassy plains to water leafy crops,
Or spawns the whirlwind, hurls down sleet and sudden bolts of fire,
Announcing he is indisposed and venting forth his ire.

Alas, it is a fantasy. No cloud can speak, nor will.
Though powerful and lively their intelligence is nil.
Those airy clumps of droplets moving far above our heads
Obey some fundamental laws, but not a word is said.
I looked in vain for answers, but there were not any signs,
Just grey-black clots of mist which moved in randomized designs.
His progress was dependent on some force I could not see.
I only hoped he'd go away and cease to threaten me.
As if in answer to my thoughts he turned and headed south.
Immediately words of thanks came leaping to my mouth.
With zephyrs ruffling regal robes he vanished into night,
While in his train a moonbow shone with pale and eerie light.
My royal audience was done. His Majesty was gone.
I'd seen the King of all the clouds, and humbly traveled on.