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.