Once again the huge metal-skinned monster
lumbers through star-studded fields
towards departure point. In the darkened
interior a recording goes through its rigmarole:
“In the unlikely event, fasten your own oxygen masks
before those of the children”.
Eighty rows of empty seats echo blankly back
as the beast hurtles skywards.
Mornings and afternoons, like sardine cans
week after week, year after year, they unroll,
fill with empty air, fly, land, disgorge empty air.
Blind, automatic, they go through their groaning,
clicking, swishing, roaring routines.
No-one asks Why no passengers? There is no-one
to ask. Underground factories fill bottles and tubes.
Trucks rumble through neatly asphalted streets above
collecting them still full, for recycling.
Drones, loaded with their atomic and hydrogen bombs
wait in concrete shelters for commands which do not come.
Each is marked with its destination: New York, London,
In a darkened cinema not far from Hiroshima, Sergeant Pepper
goes through its umpteenth performance. Rows of empty seats
stare blankly as the four lads from Liverpool sing plaintively
“She’s leaving home”