Airfix Model Helicon
As a child, they could not keep me from glue;
and little aeroplanes with men inside.
I loved the way the pieces fitted, true
and good, to pinch them as the sections dried,
to hold them clothes-pegged among my books:
a wheat of wings and struts, and pilot parts
half painted where they’d show. Dial blocks,
and landing gear, and once a ball-turret
belly-buttoned into a Flying Fortress
with bits of sellotape and string. I shaped
with scalpel blades and pared matchsticks in bliss,
having time to waste, having escaped
the cricket square, the daft birds in the park.
Better to be there footering a Spitfire,
looking inside myself the better lark;
apprenticed to the mystical desire
to make and build, the solitude sublime.
Now poetry is where I gauge and measure,
where I glue and fit. Where I waste my time,
and rhyme, simply for the pleasure of it.
If you have any comments on this poem, David Condell would be
pleased to hear from you.