Long ago, I spoke to a Vietnam Veteran at length, a B 52 pilot. His words really changed my life. Speaking with him was the single act that sent me head long into this spiritual event or exercise that I keep mentioning. And yes, one day when I have the time I will write about it. However, at this point in my life I do not really have time to write. My sweet husband now has the itch to move. And it is not into this lovely cottage that we were looking at. Now it is a condo – one floor, eminently wiser as we indeed age. He is on the hunt. So here is another war poem from a pilot’s perspective. Clear left, clear right, flying terms I learned when I learned when I learned to fly. Basically you look to your right and left to see if anyone is flying near you before you turn (in a small aircraft anyway).
The flames still leap.
My dreams aflame with hell’s fire.
Limbs still seen hanging off the wing,
suspended in mid-air.
Done now, the war over forty years
or so but still the fire comes
and still it burns. There is no sweet waking
for me from this restless sleep.
Split peach the color on the horizon,
a deep glowing red next to me. Blood red.
Dark limbs form this painful crown
round my head thorns deep.
This fire on the wing,
gaping craters below,
only numbness provides
me with a death like rest.
I am unable to awaken
or raise up.
Like a hawk, my wings broken
I fall to the ground too old to fly.
What was it for this emptiness
this black void?
Clear left, clear right, still the fire burns.
Now I am just a lonely sorrow, lost.
2008-2010 © Liz Rice-Sosne
OPEN FOR CRITIQUE. For the Poetry Pantry
There have been a couple of times when I have “taken flight” in a airplane. No, I am not speaking of travel something that David and I have enjoyed a good bit of until recently. I mentioned earlier taking the controls of a little dark red two-seater as we went in between the Green Mountains one morning with a friend when I was sixteen. There was a second time. It was 2005 in November. I had just been through the biggest spiritual experience of my life. It took six – eight weeks, it was exhilarating and exceptionally painful. It would leave me dazed and confused. And I knew full well that it looked like I was having a nervous breakdown. I sensibly engaged a bodyworker who worked with my energy and a exercise therapist. I did this to assist with keeping myself grounded. It was the hardest thing that I have ever been through. It changed my life and taught me a lot. However, I had no idea initially what it was that I was meant to do. What came to me was that at 60 years of age I was meant to learn to fly an airplane. This TERRIFIED me. I found an old grass airfield with wonderful old hangars from the 20s, and a little flying school. I learned to fly a 1947 Luscombe 8 Taildragger. I loved that little plane, I used to come over to the airfield and wash it … ha … lying on one of those things that mechanics lie on so I could get under the fuselage, in linen and pearls. I really loved it when I learned to take off and to land. I did not get a license, this is a wealthy man’s sport, no bones about it. Buying a plane is a very expensive operation. And the buying isn’t the expensive part, it is the insurance, the hangar space and the upkeep. What was actually taking place was that I was facing my ultimate fear of heights and my growing fear of flying. Even if one flies a good bit it is not unusual to acquire a fear of flying as one ages. I did exactly what I was meant to do at the time.
persepolis far away in persia – quick flight
Posted with gratitude at The Poetry Pantry #158.