Balloons is one of my favourite poems. Ballooning is something I’ve seen many times on television, and this is where the imagery comes from. The nearest I’ve been to a ballooning event is at the Chatsworth country fair in Derbyshire, where I was taking part in an annual archery tournament. It meant an early arrival, and with mist still clinging to the nearby river we saw balloons beginning to lift into the blue. By then, though, my poem had been written.
The main elements of the piece were played out in my head while I was stood waiting for my wife, Ann, who was shopping in Marks and Spencer.
I chose words which reflect the energy and action of the launch and the stillness and quiet of flight. It is the work I would choose if I were ever asked to explain a poem.