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Take an Inventory of Clouds

Take an Inventory of Clouds

or if you’re on the ground

Take a count of the hawks in a boil or kettle

a cast of hawks.

Bees at their best

in a swarm or a nest

a grist or a hive

Keep the bee people ALIVE!

Beetles and earthworms:

invertibrates hard

while others are soft.

A litter of bearcubs

a sleuth of their mothers

and a sloth  of their papas—

Of buzzards, a wake.

Cockroaches’ intrusion

insects no illusion.

Congregations of gators—they’re congregators!

Deer in a herd, a leash or gang

a bevy, a covey ,brace or a clash

Army of frogs,

convocation of eagles.

A screech of gulls go chortling by.

Jays in a party, a band or a scold.

Pelicans Pods

and armies of ants

Of  the Hummingbirds, charm.

A scold of jays

A sounder of boars

Flutter or flight of beautiful butterflies

that flutter by.

Ducks in flight? A flight, all right.

Ducks on the ground: a brace or a badling

raft, team or paddling

of crows, storytelling

or a horde or a murder

a parcel of crows.

There’s a paddling of doves

a kit or a flight, a flock of their cousins,

the pigeons, a bevy or covey of quail

A colony, warren, a bury or trace

of brown or white rabbits

who want to embrace.

An egress of egrets?

A scurry of squirrels

snakes in a den, a pit or a knot

A muster of storks?

Swans when they gather are a wedge or a flight

a bevy, a herd, or a bank are the bird,

all in white.

A bale or a nest, of turtles a turn,

of wasps, there’s a swarm-

Worms in a bunch, a bed or a clat,

a clew are a lunch for a bird.

And if you’re not too weary

find a culture of bacteria.


Dennis Formento

Dennis Formento, poet and sometime free-jazz/free-verse performer (Ed Barrett Trio, Frank Zappatistas), lives in Slidell, LA with his wife, artist, teacher, and yogini, Patricia Hart.  He is the publisher of Surregional Press  (Ungulations: Ten Waves Under the Hoof, by Amy Trussell and A. di Michele, and Fattening Frogs for Snakes by John Sinclair.) In 2010, Paper Press will publish Cineplex, poems dating from 2011 to 2013. The sequence “Water” has been published as a limited edition hand-made book by Red Mare Press (also featured in Big Bridge #17).

His latest undertaking is bringing Italian cantautore and tarantella traditions to New Orleans poetry; in this endeavor, he is collaborating with dancer Nanette Ledet. He organizes the New Orleans 100,000 Poets for Change readings.