Heads rocking and tick-tocking.

My Kate is arriving by airliner tonight with her family, and I am imagining the little boys with their out-of-sync bodies debarking at a time when they would normally be in their beds asleep. This poem captures some of the sensory confusion of the experience of flying. (‘Kliegs’ are powerful arc lamps used in film lighting.)

TOUCHDOWN

The great airliner has been filled
all night with a huge sibilance
which would rhyme with FORTH
but now it banks, lets sunrise
in in freak lemon Kliegs,
onto swift cement, and throws out
its hurricane of air anchors.
Soon we’ll all be standing
encumbered and forbidding in the aisles
till the heads of those farthest forward
start rocking side to side, leaving,
and that will spread back:
we’ll all start swaying along as
people do on planks but not on streets,
our heads tick-tocking with times
that are wrong everywhere.

-Les Murray

 

2 thoughts on “Heads rocking and tick-tocking.

  1. More family – this is excellent news. I have not come across this poem before and enjoy the vivid imagery. I can ‘see’ those heads rocking and am taken back to (what seems an age ago) that moment when “we’ll all start swaying along as people do on planks but not on streets” as passengers heft their belongings down the narrow aisle to exit the plane.

    Like

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