Planes & trains

Ancient Light continues.  Anxious Henry is on the move.  But there's a moment, on the train to Oxford, which brings peace.  A Shakespearean well of well-being.  A moment which only returns again - in very surprising fashion - in the very last pages of Stubborn Grew.

p.s. Ancient Light opens with this epigraph, from The Tempest :

I think he will carry this island home in his pocket and give it to his son for an apple.

       Henry flies to capital – a mini-semi-rotten apple 
       rolls out of Providence on his wife's coattails. 
       The hangar – mangy titanium birdnest – crawls 
       with worms.  He's afraid we might topple
       from the sky – imagines sudden shock – panic! 
       – dismemberment – and in the impersonal 
       gray mirror stretching 40,000 feet below, his soul 
       is nowhere to be found.  Eat a breadstick;
       drink some more white wine.  You'll feel better soon. 
       The airplane drones along, aluminum
       generic cross above unruly orb.  Buzz of some
       inert gas sentence announces distance to London.

       Across the aisle, untimorous children
       scribble with crayons on their travel sketchpads,
       cheering up their nervous Moms and Dads 
       buoyed by something Henry's lost, or forgotten.
       The train ride to Oxford was something else. 
       Profound droning weight of iron travel machine, 
       farmland English backyard a pale moss green 
       in the moist December light, your pulse
       is calm outside of London, Providence 
       might be a way of life, a common sphere, 
       fair, sensible and just – a Hertfordshire 
       in an ovoid Shakespeare's head, a salience.
       Old Roger came here, gathering firewood 
       splinters for the winter poor; and Jeremiah 
       Gould, Newport Quaker, came back to lie 
       under John Gould's Oak, in an apple orchard.

Garden behind Shakespeare's Head, Providence

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