4. Flying Dreams




Must be mad…

But no – no going back

It's up, up and away now

Twelve thousand feet

While I stare into thin air.

The signal sounds

But just a minute 

I mean…how?


No time for buts

Out the gaping door I go

Into a tandem jump.


And  my, oh my

I can fly

Like a bat on a breeze

Well – almost at least.


Flat on my stomach

Arms playing wings

I feel

The mighty magnet

Of Mother Earth

Urging me back

Where I properly belong.


Well knowing that this force of


Eventually will win

I want a few more moments

Just bird's eyeing

This spectacular speck of our



Parachute opening above

The free fall comes to a halt

Turning me back upright

No more pressure on my chest

No more thunderous winds

Engulfing my head

Only sheer dazzling, dangling


As all spells stillness.

                                                                                           Birgit Talmon





From the ramp over a chute

             that drops so fast

             the edge is all she sees,

the skier

             pumps her poles,

             silver suit spidered with webs.


She pushes off, then down,

            and up fifty feet above the snow.

She turns, spirals. Skis aligned,

            and head over hill,

she spots the run below,

            plants herself upright

in tempered crystal snow.

                                Mona Clark






Oystercatchers nibble at periwinkles

on the riffle-pebbled middle shore.

A girl, maybe Kate, loosens a blue kite mad into the wind.

Defying the force of gravity with thermals, she

tethers a boxed diamond of silk-colour to her body and

 runs below the flight and glide of its solid velocity.

The horizon beckons for a desire to go from

this concrete here to the ephemera of her dreams.

This is filed into the buried memory of

this shore, this time, this presence.

                                                    Pearse Murray




Kite Flying


How much, Dad,

I used to love our forays

to the park to fly my Chinese hawk

kite in chill March winds when I’d

forget about my frayed cloth jacket

and how cold I felt as I

raced beside you, teary

eyes glommed onto

the line of twine

that ran from

your grip straight

up to the big

gray hawk

and the tail

with gaudy






                                                                                                     George Held




My training wheels lie in the grass

like legs. My father stands over them,

steadying the bicycle with one hand

while with the other he beckons

with a grimy finger. A Philips head

sticks in the earth beside the severed

pair. The whole scene looks like an amputation.

I will never walk again, if I can help it,

once I’ve learned to fly. Flying

is a little like dying and a little

like being born. I mount the bike

which wobbles slightly in my father’s grip

the way the earth wobbles in the grip

of the late afternoon sun going down

behind the huddled houses. The bicycle seat

which is now a little higher than the sun,

and the handlebars which are approximately

two stars, together form my north and south poles.

My spine is the prime meridian. My nose

sticks out over the top of the hill, on top

of the world, sniffing the air for the bottom.

Paul Hostovsky




I love coming back here

to this place where I was happy,

or maybe I was unhappy

and I keep coming back because

I’m not here anymore--not

there anymore. There’s a difference

between a great sorrow and a beautiful

catastrophe--beautiful for the way it

brought people together over it.

In the flying dream

I slip my fingers into the sidewalk cracks

and pull myself along, hand over hand,

reaching forward with bent elbows,

doing the crawl on dry land--

pull and recovery, pull and recovery--

scaling the earth horizontally until

suddenly I’m airborne--the sorrows

glinting in the sun, the catastrophes

dotting the backyards

like tiny swimming pools.

                                                      Paul Hostovsky


The Eagle

While my body slept, I took my old self,

crumpled it up like a blotched piece of paper,

and threw it off a cliff—Talk about

an out-of-body dream!  Except I was awake.

I didn’t like the timorous autobiography

written in a corner by a sweaty hand.

Seventy years of trying to be what I am!

(The title of my old life’s story is

Sliming Along like an Arrogant Snail.)

My new self is a bald eagle—

From its perspective, men and women

already receive all they need,

yet viciously lunge at each other’s throats

for a portentous cut of imaginary cheese.

No reason to cry between earth and sky

as consciousness with eagle eyes spots

putrefied flesh—Such was my pride.

Trusting cosmos inside: “I am your body;

you are my soul.  My Self is your aerie,

your self is my sole. Marry me, love.”

                                                                           --Thomas Dorsett





"Yea, the sparrow has found a home and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young — Your altars, O Lord of hosts, my King, my God — " (Psalm 84:4)



Where have you gone, Faith-bird?  Some people say

You've fled to islands in a distant sea

Where winter never comes, a refugee

From freezing sleet that pounds our heads each day.

My sisters cry, in fear you've flown away

For good and built your nest upon a tree

Whose fruit we'll never taste, whose sanctity

Lies far beyond the prayers our brothers pray.

I wait for you, Faith-bird, no matter what

A thousand different strangers say; I wait

For your return, though winter is a thief

That  schemes to steal the feathers you forgot

Before its ice will melt and irrigate

Your orchards and your gardens of belief.



Why do you fly away, Faith-bird, beyond

My grasp?  Return to me, why do you fly

Past Joseph's bowing stars to touch a sky

Which only Jacob's ladder reached?  How fond

You are of winds and clouds that correspond

To winds believers feel and clouds as high

As heaven's moon — is that the reason why

I cannot see the plumage you have donned?


I wait for you, Faith-bird, despite the screams

Of those who claim an arrow struck your wing,

Or that your voice is silent, mute and still.

Come perch upon the branches of my dreams,

Allowing me to listen as you sing

While building nests beside my window sill.

                                                                                       Yakov Azriel





From the light we observe the Steel sheet

That covered our enriched body


In the light we exceed its speed

while dancing with each photon

everywhere when wave

limited to now and here when particle

The hurricane on earth becomes  fresh breeze in the light

The trees are quiet, vibrate and sing

Ferocious animals are not hungry and shine

Gazelles don´t fear and don´t flee....

the sky is above or below

stained with every color

each lie has a load of truth on it

trying to explain the world

while traveling divinity

in the limitless extension of Consciousness.

Dina Grutzendler



Class 1 – 1941


Miss Wheeler took a new stick of chalk

and with a long ruler

drew neat precise lines

on the blackboard,

bars between which she created

and released a flock of white letters

whose beautiful cursive wings

undulated gently as they soared,

wings that lifted me

as I began copying them

into my notebook,

slowly, carefully,

A a, B b, C c ….

                               Rumi Morkin





We grazed our knees,

and boxed-in, squared-off

lawn ignored,

the clustered girls

dug ribs and kicked

for scrummied ball.


The walls were gray

and high and parried words,

or let them trickle

in flat swathes

to puddle on cement.


Sometimes, those concrete words escaped;

skipped out from textbooks,

skidded over parquet floors,

flew out through windows,

spun in freedom

rising from the city’s grimy air

to float above the clouds.


While still the boxed-in lawn

subdued the weed-words,

masking inky roots

that blundered,

bursting out in wildness

from cracks in the asphalt.

                                                     Esther Lixenberg-Bloch






I received the letter coded in your book.

Incomprehensible words expanded my pupil.

The gap between us diminished.

Your life pained all my limbs.


In India I was once burned by my love

So our souls could continue together.

Now if I were to walk straight, like you,

From the balcony to the air -

Too late. You are already dead these ten years.


Il mio primo autore

Tsippora - my name - was the most beautiful in your eyes.

If only I could be your bird,

If only you could call me “my wing” * -

My wolves would be sated with oats.


In determined sadness I would spray you with smiles

Sailing entropically among love salts,

Waiting for a solidifying shock.

Like a chemist I would have administered my love to you:

In precise, clean stages,

So that a minute difference would not set off an explosion.


Blood full of ancient ferments of mistresses and geishas

Would have flooded in my veins.

My hands, delicate clay wandering in circles

Calming the festering boils.

As Avishag, chosen, I would have stayed

Between you and the cold

Opening my store of love for you.

                                                                  Tsippy Levin Byron


* Tsipora in Hebrew means bird





(yet another homage to Paul Celan

also to Cesar Vallejo whom I was reading at the moment)


Voice in the wings of the thorax, voice in the wings of the clenched cerebrum, prisoner within the wings, voice of my voice—


Tendon of pain, limbs scattering out of that one direction—


It overturns all synonyms like a wind among walls that have died standing up

I give it your name to play with

it flings the name away and goes loudly searching for it in the trees made from its calling


my name it has taken and denies this


yet it has promised me battle and I live by this:


All the ungiven glances like darts in a box

all the points of silence sharpened

towards the day when I fall

vanishing and they

fall past me flaring at equinox

over the dark sowing-time

of an alien earth.

Esther Cameron February 1970







Already confident in its distress,

                I found a cry inside my ears,

                A cry that took my lines and nets

To cast all night along its floods of tears:

                                                Earth shook and moved,


                Foundations shook and were removed,

                I might discover out at sea.


A wind picked up along its ancient sayings

                Like thoughts or something looked upon

                Immediately heard in the songs they’re playing

On air this morning: a thick pavilion

                                                Shined about

                                                Like stanzas broken

                On high, a cherub ridden out

                Like messages acrostically spoken.


I wondered, should I pull a line from out

                Each stanza, mend it, make another,

                When at your word, and still in doubt,

My nets were broken by a force discovered

                                                Below the straits:

                                                A multitude

                That’s brought into a larger place

                And gasps at its infinitude.


Imagination kindles in its room,

                The cry’s old voice inside its ear:

                The sky behind the afternoon

Is loosed in thunder it takes me years to hear,

                                                And underfoot


                There’s nothing but a word whose root

                Is ‘drop’, a sky made up of sea.



He that flies upon the wings of the wind

                Becomes a storm of ocean squalls

Deposited on streets through which I wind

                My way to work, a line recalled

                                                Glanced at, ignored,

                                                Which once had soared,

                A branch of leaves against the wall.


The street is strewn with famous phrases torn

                By skies from freshly heavy trees,

My awe becomes compassionate, transformed

                By sights a fallen rider sees:

                                                Clouds, which once ranged,

                                                Now beg for change,

                Recumbent under crowds new born.


His sight shall light my candle, make me light,

                And make my feet like chamois feet

To set me scraping to a rugged height,

                A steep horizon’s stones my street.

                                                Enlarge my steps,

                                                I cannot slip:

                The world shall fall under my feet.


His hand teaches on high my hand to write,

                My arms archaically to break

An anecdotal style that’s put to flight,

                To tread its neck to dust wind takes.

                                                In him I’ve slept

                                                And words have leapt

                Over the words that made us great.

                                                                                   Edward Clarke



Voices akin to a crow, revisited


I love to hear the squawking of the crow

that welcomes the rising sun each morning

He hops from branch to branch at his pleasure

The cypress tree is our shared safe haven

The crow ignores street cats’ plaintive meows,

and my morning yawns and sighs, completely

He does not lie to me nor flatter me

He does not meddle with my thoughts or prayers

He does not mock my attempts to write poetry

He doesn’t say, “Hey, that poem doesn’t even rhyme!”

Free verse is free, or at least it should be

Like a crow squawking in the wind is free

Brenda Appelbaum-Golani