Flying Lessons

Flight Lesson – 21

There is a door in my front seat, a Gibb door, streamlined and finely crafted.  A secret passage.  If closed, it’s hidden along the sleek physique of my plane. I leave it open, like an open invitation. Nothing is as welcoming as an open-cockpit biplane with an open door.  A leather strapped hinged hug swings […]

Flight Lesson – 20

My plane and I both wished to fly, but he no longer believed in wishes. It had been so long since he had flown. Abandoned, broken, and alone, He had forgotten how to believe. It’s hard to believe when you’re just parts in a shed. Separated so long from the sky, It’s easy to forget […]

Flight Lesson – 19

A logbook lays in a box on my hangar floor in the company of things I keep to remind me of where I’ve been. Leather bound lines sit silently in past tense, present yet. Not updated for years, this linear ledger is left unfinished.  A cypher waiting to be broken, you might wonder why it […]

Flight Lesson – 18

Delayed at Monocracy Junction under the eclipse of the blood moon, we wait. Guests in the General’s tent at AOPA, my plane is offered shelter indefinently. Surrendering to winds and weather, a losing battle I choose never to fight. I am at liberty to roam the battlefields of Maryland and Virginia, while a private battle […]

Flight Lesson – 17

Like an anchor escapement in a clock, my wings pendulum swing rhythmically.  Advancing us across invisible lines of space and time, one small push each swing, a driving force paces me.  Latitude lines lay parallel beneath my feet.  Longcase pairs, my biplanes’ wings align with linear meridians.  Both mutually marking time in degrees, perfectly. Silently. […]

Flight Lesson – 16

There is a Bird Walk off Taliesin East that floats in the sky over the Wisconsin River Valley like a cantilevered wing.  A concrete main spar makes its way above the trees of Spring Green.  Built for the third wife of Frank Lloyd Wright at her request.  She asked simply, “Please Frank, let me walk […]

Flight Lesson – 15

The skies spun all around us as soft and warm as cotton candy on our last flight in Wisconsin. The sweet smell of burnt sugar floated back to me in my memory. The first time I smelled it was in another September, once upon a time ago.  I wrote a piece of make-believe about a […]

Flight Lesson – 14

Holding my breath on the ground, I exhale in the air.  My shoulders relax as I sigh a sigh of relief. Climbing open-cockpit with my plane feels like bare skin on cool sheets. Air pressure decreasing with each foot of altitude we increase. I pull up the covers of just washed clouds and drink in their freshwater […]

Flight Lesson – 13

I dreamt of St. Exupery’s fish-shaped submarine Thursday night, and woke to swallows singing across the grass runways in the morning light. Looking through the looking-glass of our patron’s apartment. French doors overlook the runways to the south, and a wall of windows overlook my plane in the hangar to the north. My attention turned […]

Flight Lesson – 12

The river writes a song of us.  Composes a melody, one fifth lower, flowing underneath our wings.  Noting territory, cutting continents into separate clefs. The river’s serpentine rhythm rolls across the ground like a grand staff.  Playing pilots, boaters, and navigators simultaneously; all musicians in an explorer’s symphony.  Bracketing lines of adventurer’s together. The synchronicity […]