The sky was blue today.
Not blue and white, not cross-hatched
With car scratch lines of B.A and
Virgin vapour but blue, a pure,
Perfect blue, the innocent blue children use
When painting the sea; the blue
You see in just-cleaned pet shop fish tanks,
Or bottles of mouth wash or anti-freeze.
No planes flew overhead today.
Afraid of the ash, all are resting, parked up
Instead of ploughing through the lower
Atmosphere, leaving the sky scrubbed
Clean of all the garish grafitti
We usually draw upon it with
Our Airbus- and Jumbo-sized marker pens.
No engine sounds reached the ground today;
No sunlit was seen glinting
From far away, fuel-filled wings;
Just a few lonely clouds drifted here
And there; sky sheep grazing
In their blue grass field.
No metal soared overhead today,
Just birds, puzzled, confused
By the sudden absence of Man’s machines
From their lofty lands.
© Stuart Atkinson 2010