napowrimo #15 & 16: ‘Gatwick, 5am’ and a haiku.

Poems for the last two days; I haven’t written today’s yet.

Gatwick, 5am

Were Dante writing the Commedia today
he’d surely model one infernal circle
on 5am at Gatwick airport.

Well, maybe not. Even piped music,
sulry staff, strip lighting
and the vacant stares
of travellers only awake enough
to slowly masticate
a sandwich
are not as bad as being made
to swim in boiling pitch.

In fact, he’d probably admire
the palatial scale of it,
the cleanliness and stretches of sheet glass,
the light, the WH Smith stacked high
with printed books,
the clocks on sale
small enough to wear as jewellery.

To think the inconveniences of modern life-
the pharma-spam, the traffic,
the people using mobiles on the train-
are uniquely dreadful
is as egotistical as thinking
you are the pinnacle of human culture,
the culmination of a thousand years
or progress.

We may not have Dante or Botticelli;
we don’t have the Black Death either.


Started out kind of jokey, ended up worryingly portentous. Oh well, that napowrimo for you.

#16 is a haiku-type thing:

Preparing for take-off;

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