Michael Shepherd

Rookie (8.4.1929 / Marton, Lancashire)

! ! The Wasted Landing - Thoughts From An Airport Strike - Poem by Michael Shepherd

In the hour of our departure O Lord
In our beginning is our end
To depart is to arrive yet not to arrive
at the same hour and place
in some other time zone
and in our departing is our arrival
and to arrive is to depart from where we have not been
and to depart is to arrive at where we will not go

into the departure hall from where we did not depart
into the arrival hall where we did not arrive
and the end of all our departures is our arrival
that we may arrive at where we did not go
and depart from where we have not been.

now and in the hour of our departure O Lord

I Tiresias have foresuffered all
on this self-same divan, or tired banquette
in the departure hall from where we have not gone,
in the arrival hall where we have not arrived,
and all our arrivings are departures
and all our departures are arrivings
departing from where we have not been,
arriving at where we will not go

the sun shines bleakly through the window panes.
into the planes the trim staff come and go,
laundered into skies we cannot breathe.
'All flights are cancelled';
'Sorry Sir, this ticket is not valid for this flight'.

I Icarus have suffered thus
in Greece, in Rhodes, on all connecting flights,
in Delphi where I was not warned,
in Cumae where I could not go.
Passport Control. Do Not Pass This Point.

Too hot the sun of Greece that day,
the sun I shall not see.
'Arrival Delayed'. 'Departure Delayed'

A cold coming we had of it:
the baggage heavy, and the escalator steep,
the information scanty and the children fractious,
and the people. Oh the people.

Cans. Packets. Yesterday's papers from yesterday's travellers.
Sandwiches we have not eaten.
Tread softly for you tread on my icecream.

Now and in the hour of our departure Lord


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Read poems about / on: sorry, people, sun, children, warning, child, sky



Poem Submitted: Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Poem Edited: Tuesday, May 4, 2010


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