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Living near an Airport

April 5, 2013

Sometimes the noise of a plane passing overhead

Drowns all other sound and kills it dead

At others a quieter aircraft appears unexpectedly, surprisingly near

Narrowly, rapidly pursuing its descending trajectory

Dominating the view from my bedroom window

Igniting a tiny unwanted spark of fear

Will it crash? Will it crash?


None has crashed yet, not round here

Serene and mostly high above they pass and rapidly disappear

Obliviously delivering such highly valued freight

As human beings back from holiday

Or the latest “smart” bombs with their messages of death and hate.


Lovely, aren’t they,  and cleverly crafted

Designed so the lucky few may soar above

And feel superior to those far below

Like movie heroes just beating the inevitable wall of flame

Escaping the shocking weather to commandeer their favourite sunny getaway

Hoping that their hearty chuckles, industrial heat and noisy machines

Might be enough to wipe their unforeseen consequences clean


That beautiful desirable laboriously polished surfaces of metal

Will prove impossible to ignore, sweep or burn everything before

Enable them to tick their boxes, hit their targets, achieve their dreams

Demonstrate their righteous superiority

Finally banish any phantom thought remaining

Will it crash? Will it crash?


With a mighty effort we mount the air

Thrilled by the depth into which we might fall

Determined and ready to sacrifice everything to beat hem all

So that we can exercise our right not to care

About the losers huddled beneath the clouds

Through which we cut such an unrelenting path

Leaving a trail of promises broken and wasted resources

Dedicated to the demands of economic forces

Flying away on a ride so thrilling

It’s easy to ignore what we might be killing


And I with my feet on the ground too stolidly

Must pause and lift my eyes once more

To the rapid passing by of those who appear

To have passed the great test of life

While  I tut and try to forgive the distraction

And may sometimes reflect that

One doesn’t want to be remembered for having passed

But for having been present


And that any crashing done round here

Is solely into the pillowcase

For the purpose of obtaining peaceful rest

And finding one’s dreams the old fashioned way

Without the terrible need for jet propulsion

Or the nagging stressful sensation of having had to run away


It’s rubbish round here but I’m not going anywhere until it gets better

It’s lovely round here and so are all the people

I live like a tourist so why go touring?


We have arrived at our destination

Trying to deny that would be silly and boring

So instead of flying off in search of escape and anecdotes

Why not dare to share the ultimate adventure

Of trying to have an honest and intelligent conversation?


From → Poet

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