CURRENTS

A poem by NJ Hynes, written following a visit to America's Midwest where rights to the air were being sold thanks to a commercial interest in wind power. Illustrated by Tim McDonagh.

They are selling the sky and I wonder how –
by the yard, like bolts of silk, or in fixed amounts,
pre-wrapped in cellophane - (if you can’t see it, look again)  

They are selling the long, flat sky that sails
over the freeway, billboards and telephone poles,
a picture rail for satellites and sparks from a solar kite.  

They are selling the deep, lagoon-blue sky,
its breeze carrying thistledown, salt, a bird of prey,           
folding a lake into waves, leaves into an autumn drain.  

They are buying the sky’s voluminous wind,
its full-bellied breath turning wheels to spin the currents
that run this eager world, its streets of glistening light.  

They are buying the sky and I grow afraid –
for the rise and fall of my chest, for inhaling doubt,
for what we will do when the sky runs out.



'Currents' was published in our 7th issue, The Power Issue, which has now sold out. To ensure that you never miss a future issue of the print magazine, subscribe from just £10 a year.