...In graceful windings, trailing their white exhaust,
The insect planes—as a window is furred by frost—
Wrote on the sky, and the scales fell from our eyes
And to us was revealed—that It Pays to Advertise.
As the radio erupts with some eunuch voice
Bidding us in a breakfast food rejoice,
So the writing upon the sky as it drifts and thins,
Tremendously imparts—a bargain in skins.
The mouths gaped; the eyes bulged; head after head
Twisted skyward; the lips moved and read....
And I saw the mountains fallen, the world’s foundations fled,
And the sky rolled up like a scroll for a judgment on the dead.
— William Rose Benét
"Sky Writers" appeared in With Wings as Eagles: Poems & Ballads of the Air, 1940, Dodd, Mead & Co.
Home page image: "Wegbereiter Ikarus," print, woodblock on paper, by Wilhelm Geissler, 1966. (Courtesy NASM)