for sanctuary I climbed the last tree

where I met the last monkey

who gave me half of his last banana

 

things can’t get much worse before they get better.’

winked the monkey, ever the optimist

 

when the tree joined the conversation

shivering vibrations up its backbone

as though someone had walked on its grave

 

I mirrored the monkey and looked down

a lumberjack with a chainsaw, whistling while he worked

that’s the problem with you humans 

you enjoy work more than you enjoy life!’

 

logic said we would fall to the ground

perception said the ground was coming up to meet us

it seemed to me an important distinction

the difference between dying and being killed

                            

the tree was at about five past the hour

from the upright in relation to the ground

that meant we had ten meta-minutes before impact

but only a couple of seconds in measured time

the monkey assured me a second can stretch

and last longer in the head than an observer perceives

I had about an hour in head-time, which stretched

before me like an elastic ready to snap

 

the monkey which was used to such dilemmas

braced himself to leap before impact, while

my brain practiced in working out cryptic clues

couldn’t convince my animal instinct it was wrong

I held on for dear life as my life passed before me

I felt trapped in a slow motion plane crash

nothing to do but wait for the inevitable full stop

                                                                                                                   except this was me up a falling down tree