Poetry: ‘The Clouds Are Cold on Towers Thin’

Graphic Eva Wilson

I would sit on the inn benches and 

Wonder at my own emotions, being 

Swung around stormy and raft-like by the barman’s

Recommendations on a fizzly on-tap sea of 

Seemingly random sensations, fatuous logic and

Triple negations—I’d pretend to look at 

The nuances in the sepia photos and remember

Someone I tried keeping a clear head about, 

If I had to keep a head about them at all. 

Trying to put out shadows on cave walls, as of yet

I had only been successful in making the walls wet. 


Walked in then the strangest guest: 

Indescribable, they were an uppercut, 

A turn, the vast expanse of a mind at rest, 

Or grounded heels of slower struts. 

In their manners, in their walk

Like waving hands of midnight clocks

I knew their head was stuck above

With running thoughts of

Something reaching words call love. 


“The clouds are cold on towers thin: 

The penthouse where she waits within.

Mirrors green in your ideas, 

Clouds will clear with softer breezes.

Step me up and make me work the

Spiral oaths that turn my feet with 

Passion swore and Giant Steps rings aloud

Its eerie fashion—as I go up the tower turns;

On maps I might look still and stuck 

But up my passion floors go through:

I’ve cobbled staircase running shoes. 


Passion drives and hope survives

But messy heads will seldom thrive 

When hope is placed in artifice 

And formulaic prejudice. 

I’ve made this tower come alive: 

First I kill it, then arrive.” 


…I kindly thanked the stranger for their words, spoken 

Softly, like ripples made by diving loons or

The pareidolia of the moon.

Read more: Poetry: ‘The death of a star’