A bright cloud with two deep, gray gullies,
as though a huge W had been pushed into its dough
early in the baking. I glance away and back: the two –
though not moving – have grown into one, and the one
opens like a hand that mimes a flower. Beyond, somewhere,
the blue fields stretch away, and passengers with window seats
look down on torqued towers
and a half-risen, candy-breaded floor.
Already their calves are aching, and they think
thrombosis and embolism, syncope of pilots,
the carelessness of maintenance guys, occlusion
of arteries and fuel-lines. Somewhere above again,
the delicate lines that Glenn and Gagarin traced,
scribbled over now with satellites for phones,
and filamented drones of unknown purpose.
Higher still and higher from the earth thou springest
like a cloud of fire, the blue deep thou wingest,
and singing still dost soar and soaring ever singest,
I suppose. I have never heard you, never will,
I will never lie back on the meadow-floor
of some brickly Scottish island hill.
No more journeys in the air for me. I'm bound
under the threads of space, the woven nets of time.
The webs are falling on my upturned face:
snowfalls of consequence, dews of karma,
wetting and drying and wetting again.
They thicken and brittle the mask:
the sheathing grows stiff even as the jelly
weakens within. Undress while you still can!
While the mud caked on your jeans is still
soft and wet, and the smell of grass is strong.