When I returned to work on it, Airship suddenly lurched forward, dragging me along with it, and accelerated into quite a different piece than I had planned on. I now have a minor epic piece, and also a shorter atmospheric one.
Both poems begin alike, but diverge at the fourth stanza. Though the longer version is destined for inclusion in my next book of poetry, I am happy to give a taste of it here by posting the shorter poem. I give you:
Airship (short version)
How far I've flown I neither know nor care.
Much as this open deck my plans are bare.
Of star or compass I have nary need,
But follow as these downy cloud tops lead.
The chilly breezes toying through my hair
Cascade across my skin and jacket flare
While on the bottoms of my booted feet
The engine taps an unrelenting beat.
I acquiesce to gentle bob and sway
Beneath balloon and rigging bloated shape.
Awaiting now the nearly risen sun
I scan the vast expanse and see no one.
The tinted goggles resting on my crown
I grudgingly and lazily pull down
Upon my eyes against the waxing glow,
While dunsail crewmen slumber down below.
Alone on deck, I am a world of one
My double lenses set upon the sun
The heading, ever forward, for this ship
As toward that brighter firmament I slip.
(Dunsail: A part of a ship that serves no purpose.