Extract from the diary of Joseph of Arimathaea (Thursday, 16th May, 33 AD)

… Birds fly
flap wings to rise high.
No human being can lift off
under their own steam.

A dream of a mountaintop,
clouds handong off,
sun lying low in a fountain of shadows,
we’ve come to witness the ascension into Heaven.

The sect gathering  for the send-off:
Jesus is going home
under his own steam
– handy transport, transmigration of matter.

But what if it all goes wrong?
He blows up on take-off?
Remember the teacher
Whatshername – Christa blew up after 73 seconds.

No one’s considered the consequences
of debris falling to Earth
radioactive
Heavenly waste.

Everyone’s standing round waiting for something to ignite
the proceedings. The final farewells.
A lifetime of teaching
generates a multitude of pupils.

I’m the Health and Safety Officer,
the sod who had to make a Risk Assessment,
had to  make out COSSH sheets on water jars
– all because there’s a chance he  might turn water into petroleum spirit.

I’m in change of safety – hah hah,
in charge of “innovative flight events”,
single man assents without a net,
here to ensure no one’s hurt in the slipstream.

Who’s thought to commission a recce of the landing-zone?
Who’s been looking ahead and asking “how safe is it to land in Heaven?”
Typical – so long as the integrity of the risk management system is vindicated.
What do we care if Acts of God intervene!

The Council’s insurance doesn’t cover Almighty interventions.
The ‘best value’ analysis doesn’t call  for consultations on ascensions.
There’s no best practice notes governing what you do on a Thursday
with a small crowd on a remote hillside.

Not one person believes this could open the floodgates.
Who expects trips to Heaven to become fashionable?
Who is thinking ahead?
Why should one tired, approaching-retirement official carry the can?

Jesus, I can’t even get to the man,
he keeps disappearing,
re-appearing.
Ah – hah – enter the dragon, eleven henchmen and mother.

Looks like we’re going to see some action,
countdown to eternity.
I admire the way he’s going first, putting himself on the line,
leadership in action.

Wish I’d thought of bringing the video.
Nothing like being a witness
at the first ever manned flight into Heaven.
Christ, it’s one small step for man.

One giant leap for Mankind…

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