Monday 12 February 2018

Heathrow Terminal 5: in which I say nice things about an airport!!!

This isn't about travel planning at all, it's about my little trip to Heathrow Terminal 5 yesterday. I really went to have brunch with Mike as he was passing through on his way between Texas and France, but while I was there I did some photo-sketching experiments with my iPad.

These Heathrow Acrobats are a work in progress - if you look hard, you might find where I'm still messing about with the brightness of some sections

Terminal 5 is architecturally stunning, at least on the inside. Also, a beautiful poem by Caleb Femi is playing on all the billboards there. In truth, I'm having a hard time believing in this poem right now, and an even harder time thinking of Britain as home, but it's still a beautiful poem. Maybe 'Modern Britain' will win out in the end...


You arrive at the end of the horizon
standing at the tarmac mouth of home
lighter if you left it all behind -heavier if you brought all with you.
Come, before you step out into the open air
sit down here, in-between the brief pause
of children’s laughter and a tannoy announcement.
In the small kingdom of faces -some moving with
the grace of falling snow
others like laser beams bouncing off a disco ball.

 Not too long ago you were at departures
when leaving was a sweet song bitter in the throat to sing.
Do you remember the faces who were leaving for work,
or for the spring holidays,
to say goodbye at a family funeral
or for the laughter of a hen do?
Those who were answering the call to adventure
with an open ticket in hand and in the other a phone
full of friends who will follow them each step of the way.

 Now you’ve arrived at the other side of that adventure
in the warmness of home
shed the hue of ‘tourist’
you’re back in your endz now
one of the locals
you know the right trains to catch
know the best breakfast spot.

 This country is not a place of good weather but of good people.
What do you want to know about the country? You might learn it here
in this marketplace of modern British culture.
Take a crash course in the local lingo
teach your ears the different accents
we don’t all sound like Downton Abbey
not all Northerns sound like Wayne Rooney
some of us man do get hot
we’re not all about tea and crumpets - well some of us are.

Imagine a terminal as a portal to a new version of yourself
a new light pouring over a new sunrise
remember that as you
depart at the start of the horizon
standing at the tarmac mouth of the world.