Black Arrow

If words could fuel all the launchers
that our engineers could dream,
then weightless puns and ramjet
metaphors would streak above
our heads, and leave a trail of wishes
in the stars. For space inspires.
Though it may leave you breathless
and nothing there can live, the will to
chase the departing universe is strong.
Inject your language in the plenum chamber –
ignite a journey to the centre of the heart.


Black Arrow, Britain and Space

2 thoughts on “Black Arrow

  1. Thank you for sending “Black Arrow”, John.

    Vigorous and original use of contemporary language here, words such as ‘ fuel launchers’, ” ramjet” and “plenum centre”. These work well and are refreshing. They draw the current world into the poem. I like the treatment of language too, its metaphorical power thrown into relief, and so brilliant that it could light up the sky, just as it lights up the heart. Superb expressions, “ramjet metaphors” and “weightless puns” and ” inject your language…”. A fine idea into associate rocket science and its reach into space with the metaphorical power of language to reach for new realities. Now that is original!

    On the other hand, some expressions feel a bit ‘creaky’ and out of place. For instance, ” could dream” , ” inspires”, “trail of wishes”, ” leave you breathless”and “the will to…” and ‘ centre of the heart’. These strain for a rather nostalgic effect and come from a different age. The overall mood of the poem feels like two worlds in tension; the current one of launch pads and rockets, and the other a world long gone. I wonder what’s happened to the potency of language tantalisingly promised in the ‘ramjet metaphors’ in the opening lines. Perhaps I’m misreading the poem, John. Forgive me if I am. I love the powerful language here. I might take out some that is less so.

    Thank you once again for sending the poem. Powerful effects created! An original idea! Cheers, John Sent from my iPad



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