The land exhales its own
body heat, rising about me
rising to meet the water-laden
air, rise higher to become
dissipating white clouds, and
beyond, the ether.

My moment of breath, below,
beneath, waits with dread
as if some large dark
thing, some monster from my
dreams of childhood lurked
round the corner waiting
to pounce.

There is no peace, no steady
ship, the engine runs, the
beams in rhythm and the
coal, plentiful, the hot
ovens' orange inferno -

yet far above
the Captain at the helm
unsteady of hand, unsure
of direction
could be steering this

stately, well-made and
loved old ship
onto the rocks that even
sharp-eyed wisdom cannot

In The Phoenix Lounge, below,
the glamorous women drink
champagne, and turn, on
delicate wrists their diamond
bracelets, unaware

of the dark sea heaving
and the traps of the abyss.
The steady drone of the engines,
comforting, seem unassailable
and strong, and the pilot
they have faith in, so
they tinkle and laugh
pout red-lined lips
and sip their bubbles.

The stars are always there
but always veiled
so there is no course
to steer, just the
endless toss and bucking
of the waves that the
mighty old ship with her
strong frame
must endure.

There is no forever for us
but the grass always grows
regardless, and the land absorbs
all the storms can throw.  It
drinks, exhales, and lives, its
old bones go down, far down,
deeper than we will ever know -
born in some epic cataclysm
out of time
when the spinning wheel of rock
and dust collided - colossal
force compressed itself
	and birthed.

We walk on earth
but our hearts and spirits
follow those we loved
who left to
fly to the stars and become
the stuff from which
all things are made.

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