It is unclear how many people died on the ground.
-Agence France Presse, July 01, 2015
We have heard of such news before:
a 51-year-old Hercules crashing after take-off,
from a Sumatra air force base into a massage parlor.
The plane had burst into a fireball in free fall
and crushed buildings in Medan, flames surging up
several stories, smoke sealing off fire escapes.
Out of the wreckage jutted the plane’s gnarled tail.
Fire trucks wailed, wailed for burning bodies.
Water gushed through the chaos of ambulance sirens.
On board the plane were military personnel,
their families, and (is it true?) civilians
who had paid a million rupiah each for a seat.
About a hundred forty perished, including a schoolboy.
Perhaps the boy’s teacher, mulling his absence,
would picture him in his uniform as she faced
the whiteboard, erasing the day’s lesson
while the school let the bell tear the air
at dismissal time; and his classmates,
saying his nickname over and over, would recount
to their parents what he had been like
and where his chair was in the classroom. Was it
by the window with a bird’s eye view of neighboring islands?
Before all these happened a tired client in the parlor
might have slumped on a bed that would soon catch fire,
his trousers hanging on a nail, his reversible belt
clinking its buckle against the wall from time to time
as fan blades overhead circled counter-clockwise with a drone.
Baby oil lavished on his back could have lulled the man to sleep
so soundly he did not hear the explosions or, stunned by blasts,
could have turned deaf, lost in thought: was there
anything that could be done or undone?
This was a future we already knew: we had seen it
like a blind masseur before this Hercules became a ball of fire,
who, having plotted the day ahead, would think
he could grasp the next hours in his head
as he fingered the hands of his watch.
- 96: NO THEME IXSUBMIT NOW with M Gill and J Thayil 95: EARTHwith M Takolander 94: BAYTwith Z Hashem Beck 93: PEACHwith L Van, G Mouratidis, L Toong 92: NO THEME VIIIwith C Gaskin 91: MONSTERwith N Curnow 90: AFRO AUSTRALIANwith S Umar 89: DOMESTICwith N Harkin 88: TRANSQUEERwith S Barnes and Q Eades 87: DIFFICULTwith O Schwartz & H Isemonger 86: NO THEME VIIwith L Gorton 85: PHILIPPINESwith Mookie L and S Lua 84: SUBURBIAwith L Brown and N O'Reilly 83: MATHEMATICSwith F Hile 82: LANDwith J Stuart and J Gibian 81: NEW CARIBBEANwith V Lucien 80: NO THEME VIwith J Beveridge 57.1: EKPHRASTICwith C Atherton and P Hetherington 57: CONFESSIONwith K Glastonbury 56: EXPLODE with D Disney 55.1: DALIT / INDIGENOUSwith M Chakraborty and K MacCarter 55: FUTURE MACHINES with Bella Li 54: NO THEME V with F Wright and O Sakr 53.0: THE END with P Brown 52.0: TOIL with C Jenkins 51.1: UMAMI with L Davies and Lifted Brow 51.0: TRANSTASMAN with B Cassidy 50.0: NO THEME IV with J Tranter 49.1: A BRITISH / IRISH with M Hall and S Seita 49.0: OBSOLETE with T Ryan 48.1: CANADA with K MacCarter and S Rhodes 48.0: CONSTRAINT with C Wakeling 47.0: COLLABORATION with L Armand and H Lambert 46.1: MELBOURNE with M Farrell 46.0: NO THEME III with F Plunkett 45.0: SILENCE with J Owen 44.0: GONDWANALAND with D Motion 43.1: PUMPKIN with K MacCarter 43.0: MASQUE with A Vickery 42.0: NO THEME II with G Ryan 41.1: RATBAGGERY with D Hose 41.0: TRANSPACIFIC with J Rowe and M Nardone 40.1: INDONESIA with K MacCarter 40.0: INTERLOCUTOR with L Hart 39.1: GIBBERBIRD with S Gory 39.0: JACKPOT! with S Wagan Watson 38.0: SYDNEY with A Lorange 37.1: NEBRASKA with S Whalen 37.0: NO THEME! with A Wearne 36.0: ELECTRONICA with J Jones