The Dirigible Balloon
Poetry for Children


Listen to Jane reading her poem ...

I am the leaf uncurling.
The bright wind burns my edges,
tears at my thinness.

My green is the light of algaed streams,
the scent of sharp fruit,
hollow halls of gooseberries.

I whisper secrets to call the rain.
Sun speaks to me of a humming warmth
dizzy with winged ones
and pollen.


I am complete.
The green of dark moss, my veins
pulse with sunlight.

On my skin, a rash of blisters hides
its pale unborn:
twisting life waiting to drip earthwards.

I breathe the songs of river and ocean,
taste the distant earth of mountains
in the soft rain.


I grow silent,
my stories drawn away through stem,
twig, branch to the dark, dense core.

I am a yellow pennant,
a sorry remnant of the year’s colour,
its hues and shades.

I will wrap my ancient magic round
your finger,
protect you from the winter,
if you catch me
as I fall.


I have become one
with the earth,
with the falling and fragmenting
of stem, vein and blade.

The rain fills me with her scribbled tales,
ferments in my decaying cells.
I feel the rhythm of the Earth, the low pulse
of her resting.

As darkness descends, I lose myself,
find a dream of rising, flowing,

Beliefs which still persist today in superstition are that a sudden rustling of new leaves foretells rain and that a falling autumn leaf caught in the hand will protect from winter illnesses.

About the Writer

Jane Lovell

Jane Lovell is an award-winning British writer whose work focuses on our relationship with the planet and its wildlife. She has been widely published in journals and anthologies both in the UK and US and has recently won the Ginkgo Prize and the Rialto/RSPB Nature & Place Competition. Her essays have been published in Elementum Journal, Dark Mountain and The Clearing. The God of Lost Ways and This Tilting Earth are her latest eco-poetry publications. More information can be found at