Travelling in Five Parts.

Part 1.

Ten forty AM
The plane starts to move
and taxi along the runway
It’s a quiet day
Sunny, peaceful, calm.

Rolling up to the edge of the airport
I see the cars driving by
along that road I know so well
A few patient watchers*
look on from the car park.

Turbines roar
Now we are moving
Pushed back in the seat
as we lift
or does the ground drop away?
Senses confused.

I spot landmarks from the air
To feel at home while I leave my home
Shopping centres made of cardboard
Houses just tiny coloured blocks
Suburban grids
Coloured roofs and trees
Trees, the lifeblood of the city.

The city towers are just more boxes
Colourful and patterned
Everything below is a toy
A flash from a shiny roof
and we bank to the left.

Part 2.

The hills flatten out
from this height
Mere mounds in the landscape
As we rise to cloud level
Wing tips brushing
the fluffy cottoness
of dense water vapour
Only looking white
Because it reflects the light.

Now even the clouds pass below
Suspended in nothingness
Casting shadows their only action.

Jigsaw pattern landscape
Greens and purple browns
Streaks of sand-dunes
Lining up to face the wind
Fence-lines and unsealed roads
Divide up the land
In between dams and creek-beds.

Part 3.

A plant unfurling
Hilltop tracks stretch out
To reach mechanical flowers
Which bloom
and twirl in the breeze.

Part 4.

Flat barren landscape
above the clouds
A few kilometres away
another plane
flying the same direction
Is there a horizon?

[ I wondered, is there a horizon when you are 10km up, looking down over a continuous white blanket of cloud? The other plane is just visible below and to the right of the wingtip ]

Part 5.

Cellophane wrapping
Cutlery scrapes plastic plates
Elbows bump, mealtime.

[ I sketched the cake from lunch, rather than eat it. Sweetened with agave syrup, which is relatively unprocessed, but almost pure fructose. My stomach would not have appreciated it ]


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