Poems For Airports by Rob Schackne

Poems For Airports


Black thrumming runway
its deep core solid and hot

there’s a beach somewhere
they will not stay there long

the minutes will look fixed
it could be a strange mess

the sea retakes the shells

all tomorrow’s parties
must begin today.


Finally at the baggage claim
the humming rock the cradle

cranked away from sight
in sortation through a system

your electric razor’s tossed
because it’s a useless current

your favourite sweater now
worn by a sweating freak

an undecided cretin tries
to decipher your precious book

the start of the big machine
bumps against a rubber belt

at our big carousel of wanting
a bawling toddler’s pointing

at a chicken foot going round
in a fog you can barely see.


From the sky to the stun of day
off the plane down the ramp

she left last week’s paper there
and a bad novel dog-eared page 5

the sun is blinding (where is this?)

she sees the goons at 4 o’clock
control her usual breeze of air

waiting for the big bag to come off
Customs Customs moment coming

she’s now forgotten al-Qur’an
3 children and an evil mother-in-law

she suspects her faith is wanting.


A loving treatment of time
where did it go post-nostalgia

present serendip cool across
the tarmac and swept away

instead I’m running out of time
sitting in this dark room alone

no more gifts please let me sleep
stop asking if I’m already there

my note to self in a book of hours
buy me a nice watch tomorrow

this morning in the airport pursuant
to baggage claim I claimed nothing.

Rob SchackneRob Schackne. Born in New York, he lived in many countries until Australia finally took him in. He is currently a Foreign Expert EFL teacher in China. There were some extreme sports once; now he plays (mostly) respectable chess and pool. He listens to the Grateful Dead. He claims he can read Shakespeare in the original. Some days he thinks there is nothing easy about the Tao.

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