Selected Poems — annunciations

Belly Into fire

We each emerge from a fiery wound
bloody and wailing and move for a time
between vacuum and the light
between laughter and the dust
between ashes and the wind
as quickened presences set against the nothing
before returning to a shallow darkness
carved into implacable silence

herald of thunder
herald of smoke and jagged tooling
herald of debris and earthly din
herald of wailing absence
as I speak of seven
seven stars burning
seven stars falling 
seven tarnished stars pinned upon the torn firmament

Seven today I sing of seven
who drifted belly into fire
who tumbled into a thickened present
seven bearing witness
torsos marked as those who would hasten
to the stars
to the stars

13 hours 52 minutes 5 seconds: Greenwich Mean Time

Seven slip through enthalic winds
shearing apart nothingness
proclaiming “we are, we are”
enthroned like gods upon the flaming chariot of the sun
yet men, their tiny ember illuminates only emptiness
as dawn debrides the night from the rising blue horizon
in the 8 minutes that remain

Qbar 34
yaw moment off-nominal

The doom moment rises this doomsday
above the awakening Thanopolis
bright in the southern sky as
fire, holy star fire enters unfettered
seeping into a darkened plenum
the burning bright arc eats and eats corrupts and consumes

Commander, seat 1,
holds the synchronous rotating spheres
that unleash an ever-widening gyre
activating switches validating data
streaming multiple frames into voice loops far below
Commander, seat 1
maneuvers roll reversal number 2
as alloy pyrolyses in the belly starboard
as liquid transmutes to gas
4 pressure sensors off scale-low
as separate redundant hydraulic systems fail

13 hours 59 minutes and 32 and 126 thousands seconds
in ever increasing atmospheres
evident upon data reduction
in a final uncorrupted downlink frame

a machine annunciates its warning
off-nominal corruption, error and loss

Aileron trim plus 3 degrees
elevator deflection 8.11 degrees (up)

Calibrated above Sonoma
in video archive Mesquite
video archive Arlington
events occur, brightening, puffs
as the form ablates pieces fail and fall

Now alone entering
the chasm between uplink and downlink
as shock-shock interaction accelerates
the plasmatic arc severs bundled hydraulics
flight control surfaces go slack

Littlefield Texas
the Bill Clayton medium security detention centre,
the world’s largest windmill
immortalized by Debris Shedding Event Number 1

The nose drifts high through the degree seconds
CMD and PLT watch
Seats 3 and 4 watching
the horizon shifts
the master aural alarm sounds
the spin begins
a slow highly oscillating flat spin
characteristic of ballistic flight
PLBD Sensor BP0439T indicates off-nominal increase
followed by loss of signal
followed by Debris Events A, B, C
rolling. pitching, yawing

04 and 82 hundredths seconds
increasing rotational forces push eyes in eyes out
eyes up eyes down
eyes left eyes right
eyes in eyes out
seat 2 moves the left-rudder transducer assembly
seat 4 fumbles with the 5 point buckle
fallen between seats 3 and 4
eyes left eyes right
eyes left eyes right

CP Seat 2 switch positions indicate subsequent
Seat 2 APUnit re-start seeking residual pressures
showing remarkable aplomb capable still
of human action
in the violent push-pull
yet there is zero pressure zero quantity

Aluminum 2000, 2024, 2219, 2124 vaporize
Debris Event D as the left wing separates
PLBD tear from the body of the craft
there is darkness mid-deck
displays go blank
comm-links silent
crew visors up
there is shouting and confusion

Here is the annunciation of the survival event
burning plasma surrounds the craft
feeding upon its precious metals
the x.582 bulkhead buckles
folding the starboard mid-body panel
as the forebody CM skin splice unzips
the starboard x-link fails
and the craft is torn in two
tumbling over Texas past Nogodotches past Hemphill

Video Apache captures the double star
in a bright blue sky
as gravities shift creating large instantaneous G-force events
which remain within the range of human survivability

Conscious and alive as the pressure vessel shifts crushing fore-body Volume E perforating the CM there remain 6 seconds of useful consciousness before blood boils in this dark place illumined only by the red burn of plasma
shown through the triple glaze windows and the glow of the cyanlume suit lights as star covered flight patches found in Storage Locker B spew out over the Texas plains

Slumping forward as if to work consoles as if to activate controls as if to speak as if to scream held to seats by lap and crotch restraints as a giant invisible hand takes them by shackled legs and shakes right, left, right, left, up down in the dark interior of the tumbling rolling craft till bones smash and skulls crack inside their polymer casings

Now little is known ground-based video lost data inexistent as they enter the atmosphere

Friends and shipmates lovers and fathers mothers and children sucked out into the debris cloud as the mid-deck departs from the fore-body tearing asunder seats 6, 7, 5 entering the hypersonic blast watching with sightless eyes the mid-deck floor, aft FD panels, CM forward bulkhead flying into a molten cloud as mortal trauma number 2 the mechanical extraction from seats occurs no later than redacted boots failing redacted the soles stripped away as pressure suits oxidize and they are naked naked they are falling falling to earth to home falling falling falling 14 hours 35 minutes

Total dispersal impact all debris.