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Low & Slow a Poem About Flight

By Frank H. Weeden, for Light Plane World

Low flight
Photo by Steve Strelow

This poem was written in the spirit of the famous work “High Flight” by John Gillespie Magee Jr., except from the viewpoint of a low and slow open-cockpit flyer.

Drenched in the scarlet splendor of sunset,
I have nuzzled the gently rounded bellies of clouds,
Plunged into the long darkness beneath trees,
Only to sail laughing over their tops.

I have spiraled into sweetly scented fields of hay
And teased the tops of emerald cornstalks.
I have felt adrenaline dread and the dizzy
Hypnotic power of the upward rushing earth.

I have ridden the thermals and played tag with the wind,
Smiling until the muscles of my face ached, laughing until
I grew hoarse, shouting down in triumphant joy
On the toast-brown backs of soaring hawks.

The early dawn flights that seared my eyes with frosty tears,
Warm June evenings of fireflies and warbling birds,
Towering golden cumulus on the southern horizon,
Purr of the engine, scents of gasoline and sun-warmed straw,
And the vision of the lavender shades of dusk
Spilling from the bowl of descending night…

The rumble of freshly mown fields beneath the wheels,
The sudden silence after the prop spins to a stop,
And the smiles of friends as I remove harness and helmet
To stand upon the earth once more.

Their eyes and faces aglow, they ask,
“Well? How was it?”
And all I can do is burst into joyous laughter,
While from somewhere above ten thousand feet,
My heart holds hands with God and smiles down on us all.

– Frank H. Weeden
   June 19, 2001

This poem was found at www.Powerchutes.com in the stories and poems section.

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