Denise Levertov

Here you will find the Poem Clouds of poet Denise Levertov


The clouds as I see them, rising 
urgently, roseate in the 
mounting of somber power 

surging in evening haste over 
roofs and hermetic 
grim walls? 

Last night 
As if death had lit a pale light 
in your flesh, your flesh 
was cold to my touch, or not cold 
but cool, cooling, as if the last traces 
of warmth were still fading in you. 
My thigh burned in cold fear where 
yours touched it. 

But I forced to mind my vision of a sky 
close and enclosed, unlike the space in which these clouds move? 
a sky of gray mist it appeared? 
and how looking intently at it we saw 
its gray was not gray but a milky white 
in which radiant traces of opal greens, 
fiery blues, gleamed, faded, gleamed again, 
and how only then, seeing the color in the gray, 
a field sprang into sight, extending 
between where we stood and the horizon, 

a field of freshest deep spiring grass 
starred with dandelions, 
green and gold 
gold and green alternating in closewoven 
chords, madrigal field. 

Is death?s chill that visited our bed 
other than what it seemed, is it 
a gray to be watched keenly? 

Wiping my glasses and leaning westward, 
clearing my mind of the day?s mist and leaning 
into myself to see 
the colors of truth 

I watch the clouds as I see them 
in pomp advancing, pursuing 
the fallen sun.