It was the freshsilver sky that reminded

me, when, as in a new awakening,
I gathered it had punctuated
an aridly prolonged tract on this
August Sunday. The forecast of heat
was pleasantly cheated, and in closely
stacked flats windows and doors were shut.
Nor was the air clogged with the systematic
invasion of sound that the dog days
are prone to spew out on their thick breath.

Instead there was a sky gleaming cool,
charged with a surprising hush, waiting
as though spread across endless moorland.
It seemed like another Saturday
afternoon at the library, that
second home of mine in childhood.
There, in the Observer’s Book, one bird’s
image broke the fetters of proportion,
with dense gold wings spanning pale grass

against the hint of a sky like today’s.
It finds, at last, a time for piercing
as it swoops, digs its talons in
and soars dwarfingly beyond a world
of backs bent over data screens,
business never finished, fitting faces,
constant changes at Oxford Circus
and vain searches for situations vacant.
There is space for hope, at least, to fly

from this abyss of anonymity
to the splendours of some lonely eyrie.