A Blog of Seattle Arts & Lectures

Will Clemans

“A Citizen of the Weather,” by Will Clemans


A Citizen of the Weather

As the clouds billowed black
we retreated from the air
I sharp looked to either side
Cordelia on my right
for reassurance
Dad on my left for strength
yet they look only at the tree
a lasting gyrfalcon
finality coursing through its feathers.

I stare down at unsuspecting humans
three in number
looking at me
ignorant of the approaching

As I stroll leisurely over the hills
I spy a stand off
between a bird
and three humans
wait… I have seen that boy before
he stormed my party once,
blasting light through my robes
I will avenge my best clouds
though I am invisible to him
I thrust my fingers outward
send tears of revenge
I squint in concentration
blow air sending him toppling
I advance
one step at a time
and strengthen my winds.

I only remember air
my least favorite element
I am finally grounded again
though distant sirens sing
they cannot find us
a spear of lightning
flashes distinctly in the forest
we are closed in a clearing
a raging fire enveloping us
the gyrfalcon gone.

The storm advancing,
its wings strengthen
whip around us, tantalizing
claiming my friends
tossing them aside
as my neck cracks
I shake my head in disbelief.
The storm is but a breeze
the fire a crackling tinder
the gyrfalcon flown away.

I reflect upon the storm
and summarize the event
into a paradoxical Zen haikoan.

Saying I hate life
is like saying prisoners
were born to be free.

Will Clemans wrote this poem while a student at TOPS K-8 School, with WITS Writer-in-Residence Laura Gamache. Will opened for a SAL Presents Series event with Pulitzer Prize winner Annie Proulx on June 23rd, 2016.

Posted in Student WritingWriters in the Schools