Cloud No Bigger than a Man’s Hand

By Dick Allen b. 1939 Dick Allen
It approaches from the sea, too small
For thunder and lightning
But ominous as a closed fist
And what it will bring

Nearing us, growing larger,
Is completely unknown.
Beware the leaves blowing, beware
The spot on the sun.
All is turned toward it. It rides
The brow of the mind.
Soon, it will shadow one cliff
And a small coastal shrine.

Beware the leaves blowing, beware
The spot on the sun.
Do your work well. Behold
The work yet to be done.

Source: Poetry (July/August 2009).


This poem originally appeared in the July/August 2009 issue of Poetry magazine

July/August 2009
 Dick  Allen


Dick Allen grew up near the Adirondack Mountains in Round Lake, New York. He received his BA from Syracuse University and his MA from Brown University. His numerous poetry collections include Present Vanishing: Poems (2008) and Ode to the Cold War: Poems New and Selected (1997).

Allen is one of the founders of Expansive poetry, a movement that started in the 1980s and includes New Formalism and New Narrative. As Allen writes in . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Nature, Weather

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

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