Title: Boeing

Author: Brian Turner

In: Sport 2: Autumn 1989

Publication details: Fergus Barrowman, April 1989, Wellington

Part of: Sport

Keywords: Verse Literature

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Sport 2: Autumn 1989



We are only just safe here in the thin air
weak blue above     flying at 897 kmph
Borneo 11,880 metres below     or
if you prefer it     we are perched
on top of the clouds     flying at 558 mph
39,000 feet above the green ruckus of Borneo
knuckly white clouds clenched and rising towards us
like serene contortions of virtue
          and the
empty blue
               is it the real true blue world
around us     the purest unearthliness
we'll ever know?     and the corrugated
white greying sky
                    is it the stain
of what's not new gathering around us
as we descend into that other world
that's other always     always other?

We're told it's Borneo     forested
mountainous     infested     and I believe
most of what the First Officer tells us
so confidently     assuringly
     across the aisle a white woman
crosses herself when the 'Fasten Seatbelts' sign
lights up and smarts     and as we begin to renew
our intimate acquaintance
with clouds     something that looks like down
is combed across the wings
and breaks away