Truth: I have favorites among my own poems. This is one of them. I’ve been saving this one for a rainy day. (Read: when I’m so busy editing that I haven’t had energy to write poetry.) As it is raining as I type, and as this poem relates to weather and bright colors, I thought it fitting. Yet while this may be a poem about gray skies, it is not necessarily about autumn. It could apply to any season, really.
“That’s why Camilla and I got married,” said Denniston as they drove off. “We both like Weather. Not this or that kind of weather, but just Weather. It’s a useful taste if one lives in England.” (That Hideous Strength)
I wrote this piece while I was studying in England. It happened to be another cloudy day. Surprise, surprise. I was sick of the clouds and desperate for sunshine. Until I sat down to write. I decided to choose a new perspective, to put a twist on the typical attitude of “gray skies are depressing”. So If you happen to be feeling down about the weather, if it’s too cold outside to feel the kiss of the sun, if it’s too wet to go for a walk, this one’s for you. Take a step back. Read a good book. Make yourself a cup of tea. And, as always, enjoy a poem.
The sky is on default—a blank slate, a whiteboard—
What will you write? A sonnet of romance—
of the enchanted way the petals of water kiss your face?
Or a sarcastic comment on how horrid the weather is—
Bother, should have stayed inside!—damp, grey?
Before the water waltzes down, the white sky mimics
your imagination—an empty computer screen.
How will you personalize it? Set it with a picture
of a roaring waterfall in the lush Amazon?
Or a rotund retriever shaking the last bits of water away?
The red brick structures rise up like icons on your screen,
but no matter how many folders you open,
no matter how deep you go,
the blank slate will remain in the background, watching,
waiting for you to return to see its straight face.
Don’t just greet the powder blue skies and sunshine
bursting like a ripe orange—a grapefruit!—
for it’s the white canvases stretched across the earth
that holds the most potential for a painting.
Let’s chat! What’s your take on weather? Do you enjoy cloudy days or sunny ones? Or both? Which place, in your opinion, has the most stereotypical “dismal” weather?