By Patricia Rust January 23, 2011 Lonely as a Cloud

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A New Story: Lonely As A Cloud

By Patricia Rust, Special to The Los Angeles Times

Illustration drawn by J.R. Johnson for the Los Angeles Times


Special thanks to J. R. Johnson for his illustration.

By Patricia Rust
July 10, 2011

"What are you reading?" Danielle asked Charles.

"Darned if I know. We're studying poetry. We're supposed to understand it then write some of our own!"

Danielle took Charles' book and started reading aloud.

" 'William Wordsworth: I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud.' No mystery there, I'm sure you've been lonely and you've wandered around? Like when you're in a game on the field and there's no one to catch the ball?"

"Sure," said Charles.

"'That floats on high o'er vales and hills,' I wandered lonely as a cloud that is a high flyer when it comes to valleys and hills. Are you with me?"

"Maybe we should get a kite and pretend it is a cloud!" said Charles.

And so they did. Charles maneuvered the kite and the wind carried it high then low, just as it would a cloud.

"Wow! This is cool!" said Charles, "I feel like I am my own cloud!"

The two friends ran and ran with the kite and then stopped, for it was time for the next line of poetry.

"'When all at once I saw a crowd,'" read Danielle.

"What crowd? Where? There's nothing but trees and flowers out here!"

" 'A host, of golden daffodils.' That's what he saw, Charles! He saw the flowers, too!"

"And their beauty inspired the poem! Let me try it, " said Charles as the two sat down among the crowd of flowers.

" 'I wandered lonely as a cloud/ That floats on high o'er vales and hills, When all at once I saw a crowd, A host, of golden daffodils. Beside the lake, beneath the trees,/Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.' "

"Ah, that's beautiful. The words sound so nice when they are all put together like that."

Charles dug a pencil and paper out of his pocket. "Your turn," he said to Danielle.

"No, yours," she said.

"As I look around and see/ All is green in this valley/ You are here with me hurray/ With the flowers on this special day!" Charles finished as Danielle clapped and rolled on the grass. When she popped up, Charles said, "Your turn!"

Danielle took the small sheet and pencil and was all set to chew on the pencil when she remembered that her mother warned her that this was a terrible habit she was trying to break, so she scratched her head instead, then wrote and said aloud, "Nature inspires me, Charles!"

"I think it's supposed to!"

"Our teachers really must know what they're doing when they say to study nature."

"It worked for the poets," said Charles. "Maybe our teacher will hatch some poets!"

"Do poets still exist?" asked Danielle.

"Sure!" said Charles. "They are a part of the arts culture. Say, where is your poem?"

So out of Danielle's mouth came these words:

"My friend Charles became a cloud/ Now I am very proud/ He can hear soft and loud/ The beauty that is poetry." Danielle asked, "Are you going to study other poets like Longfellow, Dickenson, Shakespeare, T.S. Eliot, or more of William Wordsworth?

Charles had a thought, "I think it's funny that the poet's name is William Wordsworth, because you sure get your words' worth with him!"

The two friends shared a laugh and the feeling of a job well done.

Patricia Rust is an Emmy Award-winning writer and author of "The King of Skittledeedoo," now in its third printing (see To learn more about her, visit

Special thanks to J. R. Johnson for his illustration. To see more of his work, visit,

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