Poem of the Month, November 2021

Poem of the Month, November 2021

“Sunset Above the Clouds”

By Fred Colvin

(Written August 9, 1945, while flying from Chicago to Detroit)

From out my window on the flying plane
I see the world, much as a bird on high,
As through the clouds we cut our airy lane,
Poised high in air, between the earth and sky.

Below, the towns, the farms, the highways show
The pattern of the earth on which we live;
Above, the azure sky, and floating slow
Are fleecy clouds that untold beauty give.

At times, below our outstretched silver wings
Are banks of clouds that hide the earth from view,
While, deep within, one’s love of beauty sings
As every mile brings to it something new.

At waning day, while still the sun shines bright,
With clouds banked high above and deep below,
The wing tip plunges through though hid from sight,
To reappear as ever on we go.

And as the sun sinks low, its waning rays
Show floating icebergs in a cloud-filled sky,
Make scenes unknown to him who ever stays
Earthbound, knows not the beauties seen on high.

Such sights as these make words of small avail,
The mind grows numb with beauties such as these;
They make mere words seem colorless and pale
As we return to earth and rocks and trees.

Note: Although Colvin does not comment on the date, 9 August 1945 is the date when the second atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, effectively ending World War II.

From Safety Valve, Exposition Press, 1952.

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