I (1700 to 1730)
White lines flicker by like heartbeats
on a black macadam river.
Hills flow slowly by
beneath an indeterminate sky –
pastel-apricot blends imperceptibly to dove grey,
before the rising blue flood of night.
From the kitchen window the sky is a flower,
above the scalloped edge of the ridge
an inch of golden yellow ribbon
trims a blanket of purple velvet
specked with the first few stars.
Above the trees,
whose presence is implied
only by the stars that they hide,
Orion has tipped over sideways –
a fallen statue beside a milky stream.
IV (0530 to 0540)
Against a background of a billion bright dust-motes
a scrap of ice and stone,
heated to incandescence,
inscribe its path on the sky.
Blink and it’s gone, but another,
follows. Lower down,
four planets have lined up to point out
where the sun will later rise.
V (0640 to 0700)
Light comes before colour:
a white sky seen through a picket-fence of black tree trunks.
Then, a confusion of hues; yellows, greens,
and last night’s apricot now fully ripened.
Then the day washes downwards from the sky,
and the tree trunks are silver against blue.
Some explanation of IV: I got up at about 0530 this morning to look at the eta aquariid meteor shower. After trundling up the driveway and out the gate, and down the road a little and not seeing anything (other than the four planets currently in alignment) I decided “sod this, it’s too cold”. As I turned to go back up the hill I finally saw a meteor, so I lay down on the road for a bit and saw six in quick succession.
And this is what I’ve started to think of a pansy coloured sky: