the roaring forties-final resting place of malaysian airlines flight MH370

th The Roaring Forties 1926 drypoint Hurst

The roaring forties are where the winds are free.
Hurling themselves with ferocious force to tear
And grab remorselessly at anything on deck.
Winds that seek to go below through every nook and cranny
Whirling through the ship to chase men sleeping there.

Winds the ancient mariner knew well, relentlessly
Pressing down upon the rigging even tho’ fully reefed.
Bare poles the only option now to save the vessel
From being engulfed by breaking combers big as cliffs
That come in sequence, the big, the bigger, the biggest yet.

‘Hold on!’ they cry lest you be washed away and drowned.
Hands not strong enough for long, they lash their bodies to the mast.
What chance we now in this frail barque to survive
This dreadful storm? The screaming wind seems louder yet.
Even with the lashings they gasp and groan til break of dawn.

Into this scenario a stricken plane like a leaf on the wind
Did fall. Was all silent on board when the engines stopped?
The nose dipped down, speed picked up as it fell towards the water.
Hardly visible, through the windblown spray and murk.
The structure shattered and broke into a million pieces.

The roaring forties are where the winds are free.
They encircle the globe, blowing ever onwards.
Nothing is in their path as they blow across the boiling swell.
Onward between Australia and the Antarctic they pass roiling
And raging before they howl through the narrows at Cape Horn.

geoff clements

10 thoughts on “the roaring forties-final resting place of malaysian airlines flight MH370”

  1. i read that the ocean is up to 7000 meters deep in some areas where the plane could’ve come down… that’s unbelievable depth…and i wonder what we would find if we made it all the way down…

  2. It is easy to forget just how wild the oceans are in the latitudes where they believe that flight came down.

    Your first stanza has a beautiful rhythm, right up to the last line, which I think needs the word there added to it. I know it’s an extra syllable, but without it the rhythm feels off to me.

    Thanks for sharing this poem, with it’s fine evocation of the dangers of the deep ocean.

  3. This reminds me of the books I used to read as a youngster about people circumnavigating the globe alone – and how alone with the sea and their thoughts, sometimes when they reached port it took them awhile to speak again.

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