A short, uneven fingernail
Scratches the surface of the eye.
The motors start. The big screw
Turns to flood the ignorant air.
We have known many voyages;
Some well. Some we've only read of
On the wall-posters/covering roughnesses,
Balancing on the breath of the people/
Seemed the most real. But this one,
Planned in the holy, forgotten centre
Of the maze,/but this one, comrades/
Prepared where the dusty red trucks pull up
For fish on the broken wharf, this one
(As you will see) is unique in its
Reality. Eyelashes intermesh.
The hull's long shudder slides into
The incipient vision of velocity.
Where are your children, senator?
The municipal playing grounds are curved
Like the planet Earth. The lava underneath
Pushes two pubescent silhouettes
Against the hollow silver of the sky:
Your children./Death comes confidently soft
In the eggshell of evening./Where are the people?
And you had left the comfort of your maze
Long before the thin chemical line
Traced through the pot-bellies, leaving
Artificial pus. Was it only
To arrange this trip? Or did you know
Your children, knowing that the heavy shadow
Of the flowering gum would provide, would provide?
And children are of the people./Read the sign,
The promulgation/We dare not disembark.
Another blink of the automatic eye:
The gases from the legitimate lab slide out,
Greet roses in the dying afternoon.
The patients are walked, slowly, past the signs
That stake the candidates' hearts into the soil.
/The Central Committee/That's enough now, nurse;
My cardigan,/met this morning/Turn
That damn thing off/through the streets, they said,
The streets/That rose: no wonder they call it
Peace/the Secretary/my cardigan/
The last poster/The damn machines
Have taken over. See that tube;
It's growing. Peace. Good afternoon.
That was a memorable voyage, child.
The pages of the diary are turned.
The senator welcomes us where old men
Still spit their dreams over the rail.
We're safe. The bloodshot television
Can't be turned off, but all hale breath
Belongs to the people. The people are tired.
They slowly kill the image on the screen.