• Miriam Jones

October 1930


There you are, tipping your hat just outside my peripheral vision

obscured by your posterity-loaded colleagues


who cast off for Karachi inflated by five and a half million

cubic feet of hydrogen and hubris


in a vessel untested in adverse conditions, suspended

above Westminster as if rendered by Magritte.


Over London. All well. Moderate rain. Base of low clouds 1,500ft.

Wind 240 degrees (west south west) 25mph. Course set for Paris.


They surf nimbus over the Channel on Lord Thomson’s Axminster

retire to the smoking room (asbestos-lined for safety).


Our distinguished passengers smoked a final cigar

and have gone to bed after the excitement of their leave-taking.


They are sleeping when she sounds. Hooked by a gust she dips

her nose, furrows steel ribs into the hill, punctures, combusts.


When you go Beauvais to identify them it is impossible.

(Going anywhere by air was, by definition, tricky in those days.)


Before you die you light your brazier, entrust your fragments

to the flames. They were too heavy – you are lighter than air.