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.
ODE TO A SKYLARK, P.B. Shelley
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?