just watching


I would have liked to see it

falling, an albatross with broken wings
feathers scattered as it strikes the waves

they say some caught it on video over texas

leonids, shooting stars, beautiful to see
broken remains and seven angel bodies fall in flames


she has a beautiful neck
she does
my niece you know she said it was
she served her ... you know before
putting necklaces on and earrings
touched her there on the nape
just where it will fall
said it was beautiful you know so straight and thin

I've seen it before on TV

problem with re-entry captain kirk
glowing nose cone and flames lick wing tips
always saved in the nick of time
beam me up scotty

except the baddies they can die


oh he does it so well
it's not easy you know, my neighbour he tried once
yes, they struggle sometimes at the end
it looks so bad if they get it wrong
oh yuck, you'll put me off my stitches
it's a scarf for my little jean
lovely he'll look with red around his tiny neck
who's next it's getting late are there many more

I'd have liked to hear it too

do flight recorders survive re-entry
like those mars rocks they say brought life
hear their words
they say pilots are always very calm until the end
oh shit
they always say that
isn't it strange
or funny


well that's the last
time to go
I must rush and cook the tea
I know my husband hates to wait
its good to have these times to chat and knit
yes so pleasant, time to rest
same time tomorrow
see you then

I wonder what they'll watch when all the heads have gone

written on hearing about the loss of the Columbia, 1st February 2003

Born in the TV generation it seems as though we are inured to tragedy and pain. Are we particularly distanced and voyeuristic in the current age or does every generation need to learn afresh how to care.

Alan Dix © 2003