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Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Blue Sky Thinking

No one saw you fall from grace,
halfway to heaven, head lost in clouds.
No one heard your cry for freedom
or the sound of dreams dashed upon
desolate concrete.

Your furtive run for freedom filmed
by hidden cameras no one manned.
Your head awash with hallowed dreams –
face furrowed in
wondrous joy.

And, five minutes into your final
flight, wings spread, soaring
to your promised land – hopes rupture,
fray – fragile figments of

Cocooned in fumes and thinning air,
stars spinning behind closing lids,
knuckles whiten, clutch
at hopes and thoughts that twist and turn as
tortured as the

space inside your mile-high crow’s nest.
And later, when the undercarriage moans
in protest at your excess baggage,
as doors shift and daylight once again intrudes,
you wonder – briefly –

at what remains of hope? And, as you fall,
unseen, unheard, unknown, you spy her
arms agape, eyes dulled, tears wetting flooded plains,
raining havoc upon failed crops and wasted
dreams that prompted you – her son –

to find hope within the wheel-arch of a plane.

©Carolyn Cornthwaite

Carolyn writes poetry, flash fiction, short stories and has almost completed the first draft of a novel. She dreams of Booker prizes and a life in France and blogs at http://wimpywriter.com/


  1. A wonderful poem on an extraordinary event...Brilliant work, Carolyn..

  2. Thank you, Barbara; I remember being moved by it at the time, the short BBC film (in the link) brought it all back home. It's worth a look and well done to the BBC for reminding everyone about this (sadly not rare enough) occurrence. I can only begin to imagine how desperate one must be to risk travelling like this.

  3. An excellent account of a reckless attempt that went tragically wrong. Reminiscent of the myth of Icarus who dared to fly too near the sun and his inevitable downfall.
    A skilfully crafted poem.

  4. I agree with the comments above; a powerful response to this moving and tragic report. It was the first time I had heard the story, but here in the Canary Islands we have 'boat people' who risk their lives trying to escape from apalling conditions in Africa. In recent year the incidents are isolated due to clampdowns, but desperate people will always take risks.

  5. Thank you Little Nell and Luigi. Luigi - I'm afraid I missed the Greek links (though I did use the word agape with both its meanings, your knowledge of the Ancient texts surpasses mine and I've noticed you use it skilfully in many of your poems. Little Nell, I am always moved by the plight of refugees, not only the trauma of their (usually) harrowing journeys but also the (oftentimes) harsh response of their chosen countries. I feel another poem coming on.

  6. Lynne Armstrong23 June 2013 at 10:17

    I have only now read this sad news report. Your words reflect that sadness so well, and the poem is a wonderful moving tribute to that young man.