The Dirigible Balloon
Poetry for Children

Meteor Message

watching the Perseid meteor shower in England’s hottest summer

Our planet’s flashing messages in Meteor Morse Code.
Space rocks dash and drop like burning coals.
Earth scoops another skyful as she swerves down space’s road,
spelling out a message as she rolls, rolls, rolls.

Stripping off the stuffiness of indoor trying-to-sleep,
I doze out in the garden on the dead grass, dry with heat.
The sky looks torn in half. One side, stars sparkle (oceans deep)
but half is cloudy, ripped and rippled white with lightning sheets.

Thunder’s coming … Danger makes my skin prick hot and cold.
Meteors quick-prickle back! They flicker flicker dash—
They dart like desperate dragonflies who flee the coming cloud
or shipwrecked sailors diving with a splash.
Instead of rain, the falling rocks flick-trickle, tick and slash …
I’m waiting, waiting, waiting for the silent storm to crash.

Yes, Earth’s flashing messages in Meteor Morse Code,
ringing other planets as she rolls, rolls, rolls.
“W-i-t-n-e-s-s a-l-l m-y b-e-a-u-t-y !”
her summer skies explode—
“A-n-d s-o-m-e-o-n-e S-a-v-e O-u-r S-o-u-l-s ?”

About the Writer

Catherine Olver

Catherine is a writer and researcher in children’s literature at the University of Cambridge. She has a special interest in how literature can help humans respect nature, but she loves reading, writing, and teaching poetry on all topics. Some of her other poems have been published in the Emma Press anthologies of Love and Kings and Queens and in The Goose journal.