Oh! The Glamour!

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Awoke this morning with a mighty start,
Suspended in the inky void.
Tried to slow my racing heart,
My dreamless slumber now destroyed.

Reached for where I knew the lamp was,
Where I though it might have been,
Came up empty, hurt my hand ‘cause
There’s a wall where lamp had been.

Confusion, now, my brain has gripped,
I start to wonder where I am.
Veneer of smugness now has slipped,
Consult my mental diagram!

Roll across the bed and fall out,
Find myself upon the floor.
Why am I awake? A call-out?
Search around for bathroom door.

Find the bathroom. Find the light.
Of course! It’s slowly coming back!
Could it be time for my next flight?
‘Cause if it is, I’d better to pack!

Frantically, I quickly shower,
Dress and fill my useless bag;
Leave the room, descend the tower.
God! This life can be a drag!

Make my entrance to the lobby,
In uniform with cap in hand.
Hotel staff all look so snobby,
Crew has gone! Well, I’ll be damned!

‘Twas then I spied the lobby clock,
My heart then sank just like a stone.
It’s 2 am! Oh what a shock!
Of course, I really should have known!

Ten hours early, I am now –
A trial run, of course, I planned.
Vacate the lobby with a bow;
You frequent flyers understand!

Stephen Tomkins
13 July 2015
Shanghai.

time zone

Author’s note: I make no comment as to whether the above incident actually took place.

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Night Flight

139-crescent-moon-background

A Cheshire Cat moon beams down from on high
And slowly sinks lower and lower in the sky;
His comforting smile rewarding my thoughts
While beset by machines with their ones and their noughts.

The blackest of seas swallows Cat and his smile
Like a red crescent whale diving deep for a while.
Pinpricks of light in an ebony veil
Disinterestedly shimmer, unchanging and pale.

Air hisses past like a rain-swollen stream,
While I seem suspended in a motionless dream.
Time passes by at a glacial pace.
The miles that we fly disappear without trace.

Bodiless voices speak on in my ears,
Silence again as the frequency clears.
A voice now beside me, my reverie breaks,
Suggesting a coffee to keep us awake.

The view from his window, no different to mine,
But does he perceive what I think is so fine?
The weather tonight is so clear and benign;
It’s not always like this when flying the Line!

Stephen Tomkins
11 July 2014