It’s hard to know

which way up the world is today. The plane crash has left me without some kind of compass and yet it hasn’t. I carried on going to the film festival and treating myself to a new piece of clothing and meeting friends for coffee. i

A few days ago a doco on Erebus was on television and they interviewed the very young policemen who had to deal with the bodies on the crash site. one described it as destroying him from the inside out. The news is consumed with finding out the nationalities of the poor victims and I guess that is important but somehow are they all important? young, pretty, old, unfaithful, boring, brash, boorish?

I wrote these two poems after other air-crashes, one when a light plane crashed in Christchurch and I had taught two of the young men, the other is self-explanatory.

Last Evening

Last evening, just at the moment I was sipping
my red wine and stirring bolognaise for the spaghetti,
a light plane was beaming in on the landing strip. A young
wife was looking for loose change for the meter and buttoning
up the jacket over the pajamas of the smallest child.

It was dark and foggy and somehow the plane became
lost and smashed into a field near the airport as I was getting
the plates out of the oven. Amazingly, tow of the ten survived
and cried all the way through Holmes and some of that new
television reality series,

The is morning over a cup of tea I see all their loved faces,
Smiling at me from the front page and also a picture of the wreckage.
It’s a small city so I recognise two young men from high school.
One was head boy, one was a twin and both had Phds.

Their supper is untouched, congealed and cold at the sink.
Tomorrow the paragraph will be smaller. Some funerals will
covered. It’s certain an aviation investigation will proceed.
Relatives have been contacted and flowers and cards
have been laid along the fence at the crash site.

It is raining today and the petals have browned forlornly and wilted,
ribbons have escaped and caught on barbed wire, the words blurred
and illegible on the cards. The turbulence is visible, grey cloud
Is racing across the sky and it’s hard to tell
which way up the world is.

Universal Studios

I was in the classroom when the two planes
ploughed into the sides of the skyscrapers
fucking up the skyline.

One boy, agitated and excited, wanted a slow motion
replay because it was cool. The rag dolls plummeting
was an awesome special effect.

He was instantly rewarded again and
again. Pause and rewind were possible,
“Cut take two” proved infinitely more difficult.

King Kong did not miraculously appear, towering above
the buildings, gentle primate palm cupped to rescue
the beautiful secretary. Superman, arms outstretched
elsewhere, that particular morning and Wonder Woman,
caught unawares, was having her nails done.

Sorry that’s all folks, this was a low budget pilot
for a series that everyone will be cast in.
Heroes and extras alike will be there for
the epic and universal studios will
foot the bill.

Sue Heggie

How is your world looking today? FG



2 Replies to “It’s hard to know”

  1. Have read bits of your poems as you have created them so it is interesting to see the finished product and how you have decided to make the completion. These are grim and difficult subjects and you convey the feelings surrounding them so well, at a personal level. You are very talented so keep writing Suzie!
    On returning to work:
    Am one day off returning to ‘working life’ … How do I feel about that? With a mortgage and one income I’m not sure if I should dwell on/in that one too long.
    Re Bruce’s comment, hmm perhaps SOME writing on daffodils beside the lake beneath the trees… X


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