Popular Posts

Sunday 20 November 2011

A Quiet Emergency

The sun deck
cleared of passengers
and movables:
sunbeds, tables, chairs
and parasols.
A deckhand
works his way
starboard to port
around the bows.
Dismantles lamps -
those crystal globes
enchanting after dark.
Slow business.

And all the while
a chopper, an
air ambulance
marked eliambulanza
waiting patiently
for its safe space
to land.

And now
at the precise
awaited moment,
the moment of
the Ready signal,
the eliambulanza turns -
we think to land -
but disappears
into the summer's
azure blue.

Deck hands return.
Reconstruct the lamps.
Replace the furniture.
Erect a counter
serving food
as passengers
begin to trickle back.

The Captain's voice
is thanking all.
The emergency,
he says, is over.
the day is hot and sunny,
for an hour or so
no one can find the earlier mood.
No one is interested
in the food.

Today's other poem is here


Windsmoke. said...

Flowed along nicely with vivid imagery, its sad a chopper wasn't around to evacuate the passengers of the Titanic before she went to her watery grave :-).

Cloudia said...

seems like you are processing a true event?

Aloha from Honolulu

Comfort Spiral

> < } } ( ° >


< ° ) } } > <

Jenny Woolf said...

You capture that disconcerting feeling, half way between alarm and routine. I like the way that so many of your poems look at the spaces between.

kaykuala said...

What was it all about anyway! Was it a dry run of some sort. Looks like it was! Great verse!


Ted said...

one man
ups himself
from the deck
reaches beneath
the buffet table
and hides a bottle
of Martin Miller's
under his sea blanket
he was once a survivor
the sea justifies an answer
it recused him the salty water
he shares lucidity with the dead
fully conscious and fully ignited
he won't be the last to draw a shortened breath
when the sea court passes judgement
sentenced men

Brian Miller said...

i hear you on this...an emergency can disrupt the day so much it is hard to get back any serentiy you had...

Richard Theodore Beck said...


thanks for the prompt Dave, i'll be workin' on this one all day...

well, not all day...i have my students' essays on the renaissance to grade


haricot said...

What an abrupt warning. It must resonate for the people as if it was unknown word...

Anonymous said...

Again you have brought me up short, beautiful poetry very evocative. My father in law died while on a cruise. It must of been awful one minute he and my mother-in-law preparing for dinner and dancing the next, stolen, taken by a stroke a moved clot. Sudden, hard no need for the air ambulance.

Maxwell Mead Williams Robinson Barry said...

powerful stuff.

sunny said...

excellent idea.like it.

Dave King said...

I agree, but you'd have needed a lot of choppers!

Yes, an actual happening.

What a wonderful comment! Thank you so much.

Afraid not. The chopper departed because the very ill patient had died.

Bravo! Brilliant. Thanks, enormous thanks!

Yup, we were all a bit subdued.

No happy ending that time, I fear. Hope the grading went well.


Oh, so terribly sorry. That must have been awful for you to read. We didn't get to hear any details of the case. Thanks for replying.

Thank you very much.

Thanks, but true.