Kay Ryan, “Cloud”

Cloud (from Poetry Feb. 2010)
Kay Ryan

A blue stain
creeps across
the deep pile
of the evergreens.
From inside the
forest it seems
like an interior
matter, something
wholly to do
with trees, a color
passed from one
to another, a
to which they
submit unflinchingly
like soldiers or
brave people
getting older.
Then the sun
comes back and
it’s totally over.


The cloud is in front of the sun. The speaker does not see the sun nor the cloud directly. “The deep pile of the evergreens:” this is darkness, the shapes only interrupted by a “stain” of blue. “Creeps across:” these dark beings, if you will, are static. No wonder the speaker refers to the color as one “passed.” The dark shapes have no color; time either is not or may have been.

Is the darkness nothing but shapes with blueness – some limited brightness – between them? The sunlight streams and the shapes are revealed. They – brave, whether old or young – are green, the color of hope. They are definitely grounded. Time is back, we recognize the momentary. The sky as a distinct entity has now been revealed. What was that clouded vision, exactly?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.