There have been quite a few stories and films and poems which have trains as their background but there haven't been so many about planes, so I thought that I should have a plane poem.


for Elizabeth

They sparkle beneath our wings;
spilt jewel caskets, lights strewn
in rich darkness, lampstrings of pearls.

And then the plane tilts, a warm
intimate thrumming, like travelling within
the ambergris-heavy belly of a whale.

The abstract beauty of our world;
gleams anvilled to a glowing grid,
how the floor of earth is thick inlaid!

Traffic borne, lotus on a stream,
planes lofting, hovering, descending,
kites without strings, as I race homewards

towards you, beside whom I now belong,
age iam, meorum finis amorum
my late, but final anchoring.

from Collected Poems (Gallery Press, 1995) © John Montague 1995, used by permission of the author and The Gallery Press

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