What Air Travel Does To The Creative Mind

October 10, 2014

Air travel gives you a tremendous opportunity to write. Even if your plane is curiously on time there are hours spent waiting in various holding pens, waiting on the aircraft itself before it lurches off the ground and of course those happy hours aloft with nothing to disturb the even flow of creative thoughts except the vomiting child next to you and the scientifically programed interruptions from the crew reminding you of all manner of things you really needed to know; or not. If we add to this the interesting gas that passes for breathing air on an airliner one can hardly be surprised if any writing done on an airliner is anything but a touch morbid.

And so, I submit this poem written en route Boston to Portland very recently. I think it demonstrates the dangers of air travel very clearly. As I recover from that trip I may edit this poem and so ask you to view it as a work in progress and join me in hoping that I don’t have to fly anywhere soon unless I am upgraded to the nirvana behind the dark curtain where the privileged sprawl on vast cushions slopping up champagne and chowing on free nosh.

I met life one day
Walking along
And life joined me to talk.
For years we walked,
Together.
It was fine, my life.
And later,
When I stumbled
Life would slow down,
Waiting for me.
Now I stumble more
And life waits even longer,
So that I wonder when
Finally,
Life will turn and say,
“I can wait no longer”
Striding onwards.
Then I will have a new and darker companion
Who does not walk with me, or ahead,
But silently behind.
Who was there always
Some distance
Unseen around a corner of perception.
But now I have to see,
And I find myself
Picking up the pace
To stay ahead
Ahead of that dark silent figure
Who will, one day, cover me
With an inescapable shadow.

.

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