Home Poetry Poem of the Week Poem of the WeekPoetryWriting·3 min readPoem of the Week: ‘From Atmosphere to Hydrosphere’ by Sarah AngJimmy Donnellan, Morgan Roberts and Callum Davies·April 6, 20151st Place ‘From Atmosphere to Hydrosphere’ by Sarah AngFor Air Asia QZ8501 When the seatbelt sign first blinks onNo one bats an eyelid.Turbulence is common on all flights, after allThe cabin is calm.A violent jolt shakes the plane-“Ladies and Gentlemen, this is your Captain speaking. We will shortly be goingthrough extreme turbulence-Please remain seated and do not remove your seatbelt. I repeat, please do notremove your seatbelt until the seatbelt sign is switched off.”Unease ripples through the cabin;But mere seconds later it is replaced by more important worries:What movie to watch next,Whether to get Coke or 7-Up when the stewardess comes around.There are more important things to worry aboutThan contemplating if one’s life is at stake.After all,Accidents are reserved for the black and white print of newspapersOne feels a prick of sorrow before flipping the pageTo pore over what Angelina Jolie wore to the Oscars,And who Katy Perry’s latest love interest is.“We are experiencing technical difficulties-This is an emergency, I repeat, an emergency. Please stay calm and follow theinstructions of your cabin crew. ”The cabin explodes into chaos.Loud moans juxtapose with angry voices,Demands to know what is happening, why it is happening,Go unanswered.Two planes in one year, isn’t that enough?Some passengers grip rosary beads with trembling fingers,Others mutter prayers in a foreign language,Squeezing pocket-size Buddhas and BrahmasStill others cling to the hope that to die today is not their fateWe are not ready,They cryTo travelTo a state that isn’t Singapore.Lovers hold each other tightlyWhisper endearments in each other’s earsLater, the remains of two skeletons will wash up on sandy shoresArms encircling each other, lips locked in a final gasp for airTill Death do us Part.Strangers who have not spoken to each otherFor the entire flightMutely reach over and hold hands.Later, their tenuous hold might be nibbled apart by fishBut for now, it is akin to the strongest covalent bond.Mothers bend over their crying babiesSmooth the tangle of hair from their foreheadPlant a kiss on their downy cheek-A single tear slips from under their eyelids,Grief for the dreams their child will never realizeLater, the Indonesian governmentWill find hunched-over carcasses of womenThat, when turned over,Reveal the bodies of childrenWrapped in an eternal embrace.Below, the Java Sea ripplesIn all its majesty.The pain and terror of the passengers above itIs of no consequence to the sea-It has seen dynasties rise and fallThis tiny piece of metalIs of no importance.Static ripples across the radio.“We are over the Java Sea—I’m sorry”The plane hurtles towards the sea,The tip of its wing bursting into flame-A white speck against a curtain of blueUnearthly screams fill the cabinAnd you wonder; which is more painfulThe physical tearing from limb to limb upon impactOr the crushing of unrealized hopes, the shredding of paper-thin dreamsIf a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear itDoes it still matter?Metal meets water with a resounding crackThe fuselage disappears under the surging wavesWithout a trace.OblivionSome of the coverage you find on Cultured Vultures may contain affiliate links, which may provide us with small commissions based on purchases made from visiting our site.