Cloud Houses of Dreams

Monday Morning Musings:

“I would build a cloudy House
For my thoughts to live in;
When for earth too fancy-loose
And too low for Heaven!”

–Elizabeth Barrett Browning, “The House of Clouds”

“I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now

From up and down, and still somehow

It’s cloud illusions I recall

I really don’t know clouds at all.”

–Joni Mitchell, “Both Sides Now”



Striking in their billowing shapes, watch them drift, the clouds.

Somehow relaxing, to see them shift, the clouds.



On a beautiful afternoon in July,

we walk, a blue bed is the sky

for puffy clouds to lay upon

transient, seen, and then they’re gone—








like the inhabitants who once held sway

on these cobblestone streets, walked each day–

in daily life and times of strife they lived in these houses

with children, relatives, with their spouses,

Elfreth Alley, Philadelphia














do their spirits yet walk here under moonlit clouds

shy, hesitant, or fierce and proud?

I must ask my friends who once lived herein

if they ever encountered such ghostly denizens.


We watch a movie about a baker of cookies and cakes

who travels under a cloud, with a life that’s fake

but ghosts and memories bring new love–

sort of—

(The pasty looks delicious, but the story hard to convey

without giving too much away.)


We eat pizza and drink wine while the weather is fine—

against more green, blue, and white, we sip and dine

taking advantage of this unusual meteorological blip

before the storm clouds roll in and the forecast flips—

Auburn Road Winery,
Salem County, NJ

















which it does, the skies turn grey

the white clouds drift away

and I build cloud houses from my thoughts

turn them away from should and oughts

Raining on the Ben Franklin Bridge








but I dream of houses with stairs to nowhere

or perhaps from here to there,

if only I can find the right paths (or footwear)—

a dream with goals and friends and cats,

and if there’s unfinished business—

well, I can live with that.

His work is done. Sweet Dreams.











I’m sorry about the spacing here. I can’t quite figure out how to fix it.

People still live in the homes of Elfreth’s Alley. You can read about it here.

We saw the Israeli movie The Cakemaker. Trailer here.

We went to Auburn Road Vineyards.



28 thoughts on “Cloud Houses of Dreams

  1. This was fabulous and airy and light as a cloud, Merril. And now I have my 2nd favourite Joni Mitchell song in my head (first is The River)…

      • What. are. clouds? 115.4 at 4:30PM today. Blue sky. And a blue sky means allllll blue. Hah, just kidding you a bit as it is, of course, monsoon season. But today is blue sky only and 13% humidity.

      • I don’t think we ever have 13% humidity! It’s not super hot here now–about 80 with about 80 % humidity–chance of thunderstorms this afternoon. That’s pretty much the forecast for the rest of the week.

      • It’s often closer to 50% humidity here in the summer because it’s monsoon season, but it just happened to be really. Of course, REALLY dry is winter. 80% sounds disastrous haha.

  2. Another wonderful bit of musings. Cloud houses sound magical. Reminds of Thoreau and building castles in the air.
    The clouds have been holding my attention lately, too. Looks like you had a wonderful day for pizza and wine before the thicker, darker clouds rolled in.

    • Thank you, Robin.
      Yes, I don’t know what it is about the clouds lately. 🙂
      I actually covered a few days here–Wednesday and Thursday were the nice days, and the storm clouds were on Sunday when we were going to see my mom.

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