To Build Castles in the Sky

/ Spencer Vossman

Poetry1 min reading time

The poem in the format Spencer wanted it. The first two stanzas are encapsulated in clouds and the third is in the shape of a lightning bolt.

Up here, it’s easier
To carve out home. How these towers
Rise in cumulative stacks of cumulus!
By the raised drawbridge, a portcullis catches
Sunlight with gilded winks — such sneaky recognition of
Your Excellency. A shallow moat beckons
Beneath onlookers: come lounge under settled surf,
Vanilla froth spinning anyone in
A lazy, lazy lather.

Yet you dwell in the keep
As if under siege. Inside billowing peaks
Of cotton bale, the wallpaper
Bursts with blueprints. You sleep late
Upon potential energy, then a midday rise,
A reach for crumpled sheets.
From the parapet, you hang-dry dreams
On clotheslines made ragged with regalia.
This takes time, you tell me, convince me
This final bundle’s too thickset to shrink
As the cables, magnetized toward the terrestrial world,
Shiver with weight,

What a luxury
It must be!
To look out at
The banal world,
Reject it, depart
Into the skies.
If I stick my head
Far enough in the clouds,
Maybe I too
Launch into aether,
Attend astronaut orbit,
Become the alchemist
Whose finger-snap
Would poof!
Mold air into gold.