Flight to Heaven

[This was the second in a series of picture prompts from Shan Ellis Williams, for the GRPG. All the poems can be seen here. You’ll need to watch the embedded video and the extraordinarily dizzy-making tribal dance routine, in order to have any chance of understanding this poem!]

He spoke at first in some other tongue;
nothing that I’d ever heard before.
He’d carried all his possessions
from the hut where he was born
and laid them on the floor
in front of them;
symbols of his influence
brought to bear on his place
in this society. Possessions that
He’d never take with him
in his flight to heaven.

The next part was a revelation
it started like nothing
out of the ordinary;
like some kind of dumb down
acrobatic exercise
to loosen him
for hunting
for gathering
for days on end.
Then he scaled heights unknown,
impossible for mortal man
to keep his equilibrium
for so long in his state.
If only you had been there
at the moment when
he went into orbit
round the sun
round the moon
the stars began to smile
as if in acknowledgement
of greatness.

In a trance he’d spun
out of control
and left the ring
where he had taken
far too many
chances at the pipe
it took me by surprise when he
resolved to spin once more

and all that went before
blurred into dream.

© 2012 John Anstie

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