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Friday, March 23, 2007

A recent airplane ride

Turbulence

The risen thought-balloons of rafts of engineers
are now my raft: steel bucket strapped to a blade
that carves through this pink abalone sky, shears
clouds into mother-of-pearl curlings frayed
by our wake through the trailing, rippling light.
It was magic, when I was a child, to fly
and see the way I thought astronauts might—
tiny towns winking below, moon eye to eye.
Now, tossing atop the molt of others’ calculus,
grown-up fear—the shed skin of those equations
might rip as we shudder through cumulus.
Anti-Occam’s razor: these vectored abrasions
that leave contrail scratches, our fingernail’s worth
of what’s grasped what I cling to far above earth.

7 comments:

MB said...

Well-crafted, Lori! And just in time for me to enjoy my own inefficient shavings of paranoia as I vector toward vacation... thanks!

marlyat2 said...

Still, that sky's worth seeing--pink abalone and clouds sheared into mother-of-pearl...

Dave said...

Not bad for a sonnet. :)

chris miller said...

You're my age, aren't you ?(year of the rat)

How many hundreds of times have you been up in airplanes ? And still you're so thrilled by sailing through the clouds, you just have to write a poem as you look out the window ?

Last time I was up in a plane -- they had one of these air traffic events -- where we had to circle back and forth between Chicago and St. Louis for a few hours -- giving me the chance to completely finish reading the "Records of the Grand Historian". )I think Korea was invaded while I was over Springfield.)

That might be my last plane trip for a while -- despite that pink abalone sky.

Larry said...

Wonderfully lyrical piece, Lori!

Lori Witzel said...

Hi everyone -- finally getting a little time to come and visit and play in your worlds, and I'm so glad you're all out there (uhm, waayyyy out there...)

:-)

MB: Thanks, and you'll have a great time I'm sure. One of the lovely gifts of flying? I've seen -- more than once -- completely circular rainbows. No arc -- full circles. Yes. I still smile when I think of them.

Marly: There's a Mose Allison song, "Crepuscular Air," that has almost as many shades of silvery-peach. Lost it when my computer crashed, but now I think I need to go get it again...

Dave: Ha! :-P

Chris: Metal Rat? Earth Rat? Nope, not born in the same year, my friend, but many things that should have been worn out of me or stomped out of me by now just haven't been. I'm still as happy to be flying through clouds as I was when I was about six, heading with my Grandma and one younger brother to Disneyland. Having done some business travel through the Chicago hub, I can absolutely understand why you'd be put off flying. Almost as much fun as my very first trip to Texas, when colossal thunderstorms set upon us and forced an overnight stay at an airport hotel in Dallas.

Larry: Thanks! :-)

annie said...

the joy of finding a sonnet on my digital travels is exceeded only by the twin pleasures of finding that 1) it's a good one and 2) I like it.

The last bit is internal dialog, but reminds me to never give up on myself.