The Flying City

The Flying City
Daniel Ausema

The flying city trails roots,
Great tendrils that stream behind
As it floats with the air currents.
They lap at nutrients in the air,
Feeding the city’s living infrastructure
To keep the colossal city in the air.

They are rotting.

The citizens of the flying city
Never look back at the roots,
Never watch the way they wave and float
In the city’s wake.
Their focus is ahead, on the
Turbulence that parts at their approach,
On the storms ahead and the
Enmity of those bound to the soil below.
The rains of spears and trebuchets
Never reach them, the curses
Shouted from rooftops and high, holy places
On the hilltops and ridges,
These they only guess at, know only
By the shapes of the mouths they can see
But never hear.

Which is not to say that they don’t know
Of the roots’ decay.
Every thread of root that falls,
Every span of rotten foundation sends a
Jolt of fear through the populace.
They fly in fear
And urge the city onward,
Fleeing the terror that lies below,
The horrible truth of their own decay.

Daniel Ausema’s poetry has appeared in many publications, including Strange Horizons, Dreams & Nightmares, and The Pedestal. His novels include The Silk Betrayal and the Spire City series. He lives in Colorado at the foot of the Rockies and can be found online at