I Looked At Clouds
I looked at clouds her song conjuring
and couldn’t help but think of rain.
Not spring rains greening meadows.
I love the dove-gray rains of autumn
swaying corn and hay-bailed fields
with sighing reeds of sad harmonium.
Listen to the first and later versions
of Both Sides Now by Joni Mitchell.
Something wonderful has happened
to the clear soprano. Its pristine tone
has been replaced with mist and fog
and the moody haze of Billie Holliday.
In autumn, nature’s gravely beautiful.
It doesn’t mince, gyrate, sidle or shake
its derriere like summer’s prima donnas.
It sounds a measured note of sadness
through every blossom that is fading.
And wisdom sings her meditative song
through artists who have lived enough
with time’s rebuff and loss’s chastening
to sense the inner aching architecture
of the world, creation’s groaning heart
with clarinets that, like a fiery chariot,
come suddenly to catch us up to heaven.