Cloud Bank

‘Cloud Bank’ is a multimedia presentation of poetry, images, and music. The creatives who collaborated on it are: Gina Mercer: a Tasmanian ecopoet who revels in collaboration. Kelli Miller: a photographer who celebrates the wilderness through her astro-photography, nightscapes, and landscape photography. ‹› Silverwood: a flute trio comprised of Lynne Griffiths (alto flute and harp), Carlie Collins (bass flute) and Angie Bull (flute). Silverwood compose and play original works inspired by the Tasmanian environment. ‹…

Cloud Bank

I’m skipping up to the Cloud Bank. Need to fill my pockets full of clouds.
Withdraw a bundle of those shiny, light, and frothy ones ‒ to balance out, discount,
the darkening miasmas of pandemic panic. That’s the world’s weather about now.

Yes, I need a stash of those small, round, flotsam clouds that frolic on high
summer skies. Frolicsome cirrocumulus. That’s the currency I need.
Interest in such clouds is sky high.
Floating rates. Stratospheric.

And maybe, while I’m at it, I’ll stock up on some of those spectacular, lenticular
clouds. The ones people mistake for spaceships. Maybe apply for a loan
on the futures market? Definitely wouldn’t be a blue skies investment.
Happy to go into hoc to get a stock of stratocumulus lenticularis duplicatus.
Feed my hunger for wonder.

Is there any need to worry there might be a run on the Cloud Bank in these uncertain
times? Good news is ‒ there’s never a deficit. No shortfalls. Forecasters predict
the Cloud Bank is always in surplus, can supply any level of demand.
Orographic to cirrus. Stratus to altocumulus.
Every cloud currency in plentiful supply. Your balance is always in the black
and steel-blue. Flame and cream. Purple and green. Apricot and grey.
And, of course, gold is standard, especially at sunrise.

The Cloud Bank specialises in updrafts, never overdrafts. Simply cast your eyes up.
Take in a draft.  Draw down as much as you need from the endless lines of credit.
Let’s skip up to the Cloud Bank.
Use our inbuilt iris scanners to open up the vaults.
Get ourselves a pocket-full, head-full, heart-full of clouds.
Feed our hunger for wonder.

by Gina Mercer

(Published first by Burrow, 2, Phillip & Gillian Hall (eds), Old Water-rat Publishing, Feb 2021.)


Gina Mercer

Gina Mercer enjoys a three-stranded career as writer, teacher, and editor. She has taught creative writing and literature in universities and communities for 35 years. She was Editor of Island from 2006–2010. She has a passion for working with writers as book doula. Gina has performed her poetry in cities and regions throughout Australia as well as Canada and Ireland. Recently she’s collaborated with musicians interweaving their original compositions with her eco-poetry in the performances: ‘Off with the Birds’ and ‘Diving into the Derwent’. She’s been writer-in-residence at Prince Edward Island (Canada), Varuna (NSW), the Tasmanian Writers’ Centre and Katherine Susannah Prichard Writers’ Centre (WA). She’s published widely in journals, anthologies, and diaries, as well as ten books (poetry, fiction, academic nonfiction). The three most recent books are: The Dictionary of Water, a limited edition poetry collection, Wild Element Press (email), 2019; Weaving Nests with Smoke and Stone, a poetry collection all about birds, Walleah Press, 2015; and The Sky Falls Down: An Anthology of Loss, co-edited with Terry Whitebeach, Ginninderra Press, 2019.

Read Gina Mercer’s poetry

Photo: Gina Mercer with Patrick Kavanagh sculpture, Dublin.