Friday, April 8, 2016

Disaster of Olgiate Olona - by Bob Atkinson

Disaster of 
Olgiate Olona
(c)2011 Bob Atkinson
On a night, the twenty-sixth of June
nineteen hundred and fifty nine
all hell broke loose above a town
north west of old Milan


in the province of Varese
Italy's pure heartland
Olgiate Olona is a town of importance
to sixty-eight women and men

past the Busto station
beyond where it was flat
the Jetstream flew its last flight
exploding, then falling downward fast

there was no reason for this to happen
no normal quiet way
to fly a creature into the ground
smashing alloy into clay

the sky had been thunderous
lightning striking where it shouldn't
tearing apart aluminum skin
converting machine into 
pieces of pumice

spewing flames as though Mount Etna
had again thrown her fire and debris
the sleek machine of imagination
exploded all those dreams

no words can ever bring them back
no monument corrects
losses friends and relatives sustained
when machine was roughly wrecked

fifteen minutes into a climb
a bolt of lightning pierces metal
shattering hopes of sixty-eight
to have their lives extended

ripping structure of a wing apart
with massive explosive force
converting what had been so swift
into falling debris of metal and clothes

through the wind, a machine of legend
had conquered fast high flight
with methods of brute force and finesse
to move swiftly through the sky

so wild in the wind was all
the blown metal parts and pieces
and pretty dresses of pretty women
and men's suits with neat leg creases

seeing chaos where had stayed
an orderly progression
a routine take-off from Milan
in this stormy pre-summer season

first the wheels had lifted up
off the hard runway
into the windy stream
then retracted into bays

the pilot had been politely saluted
by the tower controller of Milan
have a good flight sir the man bid
as they raised the takeoff flaps

then vibration of the engines
felt good to the captain again
as they climbed into the stratosphere
guiding machine so fast and long

Paris was their destination
a city on the Seine
with streets of life so interesting
was always hard to go to bed

took not long to fly above
the first two mile high level
above the height where inside pressure
strengthened the aircraft's vessel

but pressure pushes on metal structures
and needless to say prevails
when lightning presses holes in skin
and explodes very large fuel cells

that night with surprise and wonder
in that storm of rain and thunder
Olgiate Olona was showered with
fire, metal and the desire of people

the desire to continue on
live life with those loved ones
who dream of old age years from now
not violence flying to Paris from Milan

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