Sky Road Blues

Your name is written on the sky
here where the sea lies blue mercury
and the backs of islands rise grassy
and the wind makes the lettered sign creak.

I write your name on the sky
as I walk with billowing grass alongside
and watch the bright empty steel sky shine
and see the sun like an oncoming train
driving through the gloom of a smoky day.

I write your name on the sea, on the waves,
on the sand where the icy sea rushes in
and answers me in seaweed lettering,
twisted stalks with pods and slick leaves
and shells that grow feet and dig away.

I read your reply in the first star,
in the sudden daggers of sunlight
spidering their way across the mottled sea.

I read you in the dancing rain,
in the salty wind into which I lean.

I hear your words in the thistles
that glow even when we go
despite the coming night,
despite the moon’s sickle.

© 2023 J. A. Hartley
Photo courtesy of Susanne Donoghue