All across the world today,

As far as we can see,

The tops of clouds are on display,

Like a flat white cotton sea.


Some days clouds are lumped and puffed,

Reaching higher than the plane,

Other days they're blown and roughed,

Dark with snow or rain.


But now the tops are neatly mown,

As manicured as grass,

Not unkempt or overgrown,

But one-dimensional as glass,


Like an endless piece of paper 

With subliminal designs

Carved into its field of vapor

Like a grid of Nasca lines,


A floating world of streets 

Stamped by some consistent hand 

So the trellis of the air repeats

Its pattern of the foamy land,


As if the wind has had to blow

Symmetrically on its way 

Around the empty plain below,

Leaving windrows on the airy hay,


Some nameless kind of cosmic mop

Imposing order on defiant batches,

On the chaos of its windy crop 

With these tightly-drawn cross hatches,


Where some arbitrary currents 

Accidentally coincide,

Each one acting as deterrents

Lest competing routes collide,


Or if the plane geometries

Of perfect shapes dictate 

That opposite but equal corollaries

Should exist for every state.


It doesn't really matter why

These crossing figures rhyme,

Or if their inner systems dry

And sink to animal lampoons in time,


Just that finally we intuit 

From this current splashy pose

That there's a deeper method to it,

Which now and then it shows.


November 23rd, 2000

Tippet Alley

January 4th, 2001 and January 31st, 2001

Tippet Alley