Our flight across the world goes well,
dismissed for nought beneath our Boeing’s paper skin –
we’ve reached our third and final continent.
A map displays the parts we’ve occupied
with printless feet, and now beneath, Australia.
Begins a traverse of a land, as swift
as any disregarded thought. Beneath Australia.
How much depends upon that comma – a nation
of 4 syllables, we are not promised underneath
your skin. Turbulence disturbs the flight.
Most, disregarding, sleep or tighten belts,
a city’s breath, a desert, burns dyspeptic – down.
Comes now the Tasman Sea, and on into the
fast advancing sun. Also below, drowned
unrecorded names, lost windborn
hopes of those unticketed, whose gods
had given them no leave to leave a trail
of empty breath through starlit parallels of air.
The courage of economy, of business class,
holds up – a matchless wealth controlling
destiny, the slow decay of ice and fire.
‘Our flight across the world goes well…the slow decay of ice and fire’. A master class in how to begin and end a poem! I’m always surprised that are so few poets who’ve written about the experience of airline flight – particularly the speed of its geographical and historical stretch. In fact I can only think of two – you and me!