5 : Cloudy Comfort


The sun prepares to set behind
A thin white cloud cover
While a cozy comforter
Wraps itself around
The island’s horizon

A white bedtime comforter
Gently covering
The curves and undulations
Of the island’s horizon
Oh how soothing
How comforting it is

Half a moon sits up high
In the cerulean sky
While white wispy clouds
Move away to clear
The night sky filled with stars

Stars for us to dream about
The happy days we had
Stars for us to wish upon
The happy days ahead
Filled with joy and happiness
And love and tenderness


Why I wrote Cloudy Comfort:


Jumping ahead from childhood lullabies to more than a decade later, I chose to include Cloudy Comfort immediately after Bedtime Comforter because of the resemblance in theme.

Created during a very different time in our lives and after years of tumultuous throws; you had graduated, you were traveling, and many years had passed since you no longer lived in the home I had continuously struggled to hold on to for us.

The evening I wrote Cloudy Comfort was rather melancholic. Nevertheless, I managed to set aside the sadness I felt due to ongoing setbacks brought on by on and off employment which caused severe financial distress. But rather than drowning in the negatives of my reality, I instead searched for the positives surrounding me while observing the setting sun, the ocean, the clouds, and of course, while thinking of you.


How I wrote Cloudy Comfort:


The sun prepares to set behind
A thin white cloud cover
While a cozy comforter
Wraps itself around
The island’s horizon

The first lines of Cloudy Comfort describe the setting at the beach where I sat, leaning against a log, watching the sunset.

The sun drew closer to meet the horizon while clouds brushed-in after a warm spring day. The sky directly above me slowly covered itself with wispy clouds while the ones closer to the island grew thicker and gently surrounded it.

The description in this stanza is a translation of what I was looking at while focusing on clouds. Even though clouds are often used as a metaphor for sorrow, gloom, or lack of clarity, this isn’t what’s implied here. Instead of focusing on gloomy thoughts, I portrayed and imagined the clouds as a cozy blanket.


A white bedtime comforter
Gently covering
The curves and undulations
Of the island’s horizon
Oh how soothing
How comforting it is

Applying the comforter metaphor to describe the magnificent scenery unfolding before me came from several past interpretations. The most obvious one relates to the previous poem where I envisioned your white comforter as billowing puffs of clouds surrounding you and your dreams.

Another reason had to do with the time I spent, over the years, observing cloud cover and discovering ways to interpret cloudy and rainy days in a positive light. Engaging in this self-assigned exercise led me to find comfort in overcast days which are so frequent throughout the year on our west coast shores.

As the sun continued its slow descent, the island’s outline became increasingly predominant. Applying the words curves and undulations to describe the mountainous horizon, was borrowed from another poem I wrote where I described the ocean’s waves and have assimilated the shape of our coastal mountains to reflect that of the ocean’s motions.


More on how I wrote Cloudy Comfort:


Half a moon sits up high
In the cerulean sky
While white wispy clouds
Move away to clear
The night sky filled with stars

In between getting lost in the comfort of past memories and the beauty of the setting scene, I spent some time drawing and writing about other things until I stretched my arms back to rest my head on the log. This is when I looked straight up towards the sky to see the moon. Its crisp and bright crescent shape, ready and eager for the evening, while the disappearing sun still reflected some light upon the sky.

As metaphorical as this stanza seems to be, it’s simply a depiction of what I was actually looking at. The thick billowing clouds slowly blanketing the island differed greatly from the wispy thread of clouds forming closer to me. These moved quickly and cleared gradually to expose the moon and a few barely-seen twinkling stars against the evening sky.


Stars for us to dream about
The happy days we had
Stars for us to wish upon
The happy days ahead
Filled with joy and happiness
And love and tenderness

Much like the wispy clouds that cleared the sky, this last stanza quickly moves away from visual descriptions and switches to hopes, wishes, and dreams.

While wishing on stars might be considered a gullible tale, and while some might like to think of it as speaking to the universe, and for others, perhaps it’s a form of prayer. I myself, choose to apply the natural magnificence of stars as a metaphor in creative writing. I’ve done so in a multitude of poems to draw on their sparkle and unique qualities. I’ve applied them as a metaphor for persons, including yourself. Here, in Cloudy Comfort, I used them as a wishing vessel for what I have longed for, for many, many years.


Drawing from the poem:


The photo included with Cloudy Comfort is a very close depiction of what I witnessed the evening I applied words to create the poem.

Although I’ve yet to find a photo portraying the image I have of clouds kissing mountains, this one very well depicts a blanket of clouds surrounding the island.

From the day you were born, the view of the island from our local beaches was a place where I often found comfort. It’s also a place where I often sought inspiration to write and draw.

This photo is a wonderful reminder of how precious and valuable our surroundings are, not only for myself, but to so many others as well.


Thank you for inspiring me to create Cloudy Comfort


Cloudy Comfort

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