Carbon’s multivalence, its
links it into chains and rings,
improbable larger structures.
It’s the skeleton of DNA,
of the hormones that make us
female, male; the sugars
that sweeten a mother’s milk;
the alcohol good fortune’s
toasted with. It cycles constantly
between the living
When my body stops, its carbon
will be freed as carbon dioxide
by fire or decay
and a tree may breathe me.
The waiting earth
I don’t know the physics of how an aeroplane
stays up. Something to do with air pressure
above and below the wing.
It seems unlikely.
More than one psychic’s predicted my happy old age
on the strength of a groove
that links heart-line to ring finger. Perhaps we owe
our continued altitude
to that mark on my palm. Fellow-travellers
riffle through magazines, watch the movie.
I’m glued to the window, freed from fear
by awe. Impossible
not to love the world seen from here.
As the plane turns to land, I hang in space
over a tilted wing, absorbing forested curves,
a river’s sinuous silver.
If we held this course, spiralling down
to the waiting earth, this beauty would be here
till the moment we ploughed into it