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Hail to thee, blithe spirit!

Bird thou never wert

That from heaven or near it

Pourest thy full heart

In profuse strains of unpremeditated art.



A round, purple balloon with a silver tail

is rising fast above our neighbourhood.

(I hear a distant shout or cry). It soars

in the thermals of this stormy summer’s day.

I watch it rising to five hundred metres,

a thousand, becoming a speck in rain clouds

drifting north – and disappear among

the tumbling grey. It was heliotrope,

a shade a woman might have chosen to mark

some special day.  Did she call out as it

left her hand – and then marvel at its flight

and wonder what she might have seen, if she

had risen with it, of the earth’s curvature,

the shape of its fields, the stack of its cities,

the sunset silver of its rivers,

its dark oceans’ colour?




© Copyright David Selzer

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