In the Clear Blue Sky

by Brendan Strong

6 am, Dublin airport

There is an hour to go.

I would have been here at 5

But for the car, overheating.

Here they all are again, Passengers:

  • Drinking coffee
  • Reading books
  • Window shopping
  • Staring at suspended monitors
  • Drinking beers and wines and gins and tonics
  • Arguing about the time to gate

And looking insufferably bored.

And yet, we are all to be launched

Above the quotidian cares and clouds: up there!

Thousands of feet into the clear blue sky.

Stumble on, I say, to the gate

Drink some coffee there, instead of here

That way, you get over the fear

Of being flight-missing late

(Few fear being “presumed late: missing

From the flight

That tumbled to the ground

From thousands of feet

In the clear blue sky”).

One hour later:

Increasing speed

The roar of tyres on tarmac

(People’s eyes closing, from:

  • The motion
  • The matte plastic everywhere
  • High-oxygen air conditioning
  • The care-worn voices of pilot and stewards of The Air)

And we are flung


The air

Outside, everything in changing scales 

In here, everything stays the same, except your ears.

The rattle of the rain increases

Then disappears

The clouds down below

You hear a whine and a crunch, maybe even a screech  

Always seem to come from under your seat

(I hope the engines don’t overheat)

What if we all stopped believing?

Flung up here, in the clear blue sky

I fall asleep once I am sure

Those solid clouds can break our fall.