Michael Philips

Prepare For Landing - Poem by Michael Philips

Descending across water into an Asian city at night,
the coastline separates electricity from the darkness,
save for a few solitary lights on boats full of stories.
The captain is reading a book. Or he is working on his
memoirs as a fisherman, father, husband, struggling
for income in a ferocious profession. He works at
night, emerging from the tiny cabin to check on things.
The deck is wet with dew. He steps carefully while
I step into and out of his life. Someone like him
hears my plane thunder overhead and does not react.
I don’t care to meet him. I simply used him for some
Idle musing from above about the anonymous good
Folks down below. Writing his memoirs? Fat chance.
I hope the ministry has sent a car to meet me.

Comments about Prepare For Landing by Michael Philips

  • (10/30/2005 2:50:00 PM)

    I think Lamont possibly misjudged the poem in that it seems to me as if the narrator of this poems knows that his attitude to the fisherman is wrong and that’s kind of the purpose of the poem, about the dehumanising aspect of certain things in modern life, careers, work, stepping on and off planes, and I felt the title itself was a symbol of that automation. (Report) Reply

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  • (6/30/2005 7:07:00 PM)

    maybe the 'I' here is fictional, and telling whats down below..? (Report) Reply

  • (6/30/2005 9:09:00 AM)

    Nice poem Mike, however, it smacks of arrogance a tad, IMHO. I call it PA. 'Poets Arrogance'. I've been guilty of it too...to think that no one else is musing or engaged in deep reflection but the poet. Why wouldnt the fisherman been writing his memoirs? He could've been busy at knocking out his own 'Angela's Ashes'. Who is to know? I think the poem would've been deeper by leaving what the fisherman was doing open to interpretation, instead of dismissing him as a galoot with nothing on his mind but the next catch. The suggestion that he may have been a writer was nice, but then you, haughtily, blew it out of the water with a 'fat chance'. An abstract ending would've given the little portrait that touch of mystery. Remember, Hemingway did his share of fishing too, and might've looked like just another lug on a boat from someone flying above him. (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, June 30, 2005

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