The name of sky

How to name the sky?
Is it friendly, blue, with smiling clouds
or heavy solemn pewter grey
or black — a forceful fist of hail and snow?
Is it sun or moon; a friend or foe?
How can you name a hemisphere
of everything and nothing?

There are days when skies are absent;
you walk the woods
while watching moss on stones,
a squirrel or a fox,
but when the fog descends you
are the sky as is the moss, and
when it starts to rain you realize
you left your raincoat in your house.

It’s much the same with people; so why
insist on names or labels;
when it’s when and how or why we meet
it matters what — much more than who it is.

Second version on Marina Sofia’s suggestion

How to name the sky?
Is it friendly, blue, with smiling clouds
or heavy solemn pewter grey
or black — a forceful fist of hail and snow?
Is it sun or moon; a friend or foe?
Like people are; how can you name a hemisphere
of everything and nothing?

There are days when skies are absent;
you walk the woods
while watching moss on stones,
a squirrel or a fox,
but when the fog descends you
are the sky as is the moss,
like faces in a crowd and
when it starts to rain you realize
you left your raincoat in your house,
and you are stranded all alone.

© Björn Rudberg

Today I host Open Link Night at dVerse. Bring your own one poem and join me at 3 PM EST.

March 22

40 responses to “The name of sky

  1. One of my favorite lines was “of everything and nothing?” I loved the second stanza, so many beautiful bits in there. Such great imagery. Lovely poem.

  2. Gosh this is beautiful! I agree we needn’t label everything when its much more than the eye can see 💖

  3. so many good lines here, I don’t have a favorite, but it suits the weather and it suits the fretful mood right now. Good one, Bjorn. Connects and that is the most important thing I have come to believe in poetry.

  4. Powerful imagery in ”a forceful fist of hail and snow’ – we’ve had a few of those lately- and ‘There are days when skies are absent’ – only when I keep my eyes to the ground as you can’t miss our expansive Norfolk skies!

  5. I love the first two stanzas – and sky-watching, trying to capture its ever changing moods. I also like the comparison with people, but feel that the final stanza ties things up rather too explicitly. Could it be interwoven somehow into the fabric of the first two stanzas, implied? (I say this as someone who is often far too explicit, or as a poetry professor told me: ‘you don’t need to cudgel us into submission’).

  6. Love the second version especially, Bjorn. Your theme of the ambiguity of labels and the corresponding isolation they can engender carries through in harmony with the imagery and metaphor you created. Brilliant work!

  7. I like that there are two versions, the second seems to be the next moment and answers the first.Everything is fluid, even a second can make a change, it captures this.

  8. I enjoyed both versions – the description of a landscape so different from the one where I live (though the one I grew up in was more like) as well as the reflections about labelling people. I found the second version tighter, and therefore with even more impact on me.

  9. A beautiful poem Björn, I love the first two stanzas in the original version – ‘when it starts to rain you realize you left your raincoat in your house.’ seems a perfect way to let the ending of your poem breathe.

  10. Yes naming people. How do you describe them? Labels I don’t like. I give myself too many. And yes we are all and nothing. Sometimes I feel absent, like the sky, or just blended with everything like the fog. Great poem!

  11. I like the second version Bjorn, thanks to Marina’s suggestions. Makes the reader come to his or her own conclusion. I think its a matter of perspective, and as you say, on the situation.

  12. “There are days when skies are absent” – that is such a wonderful line – it made me pause to contemplate how deep it really is. Well done!

  13. I especially like the second version Björn as it opens doors to personal interpretations.
    I agree that we are all alone at times and then we borrow that raincoat, feel the warmth and companionship of others.
    Anna |:o]

  14. I too like the second version better. “you walk the woods while watching moss on stones,a squirrel or a fox,” These lines really speak to me, spending as much time as I do alone. this poem is wone of your best – no darkness or angst…just put out there with your feelings in front.

  15. I too like the second version–it wraps into the turn beautifully–such a small change really–but it works well–

  16. “How can you name a hemisphere
    of everything and nothing?” And yet we try.

    There’s something in the 2nd version that just works for me, Björn. Gorgeous words.

  17. I particularly like the second version. I think we tend to want to label things whether we know what they are or not–to make sense of them, perhaps. And I like the idea that all is connected somehow.

  18. kaykuala

    when it’s when and how or why we meet
    it matters what — much more than who it is.

    Precisely, Bjorn! It is the person that counts and none of the other things that matter

    Hank

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