From cushion to cushion of air,
at the mercy of a course plotted out
By experts or fools manipulated
By hundreds of gauges, feeling giddy
At 20,000 feet the ears pop

Far above the white
Cloud horizon where the sun peaks
Warmth reflecting on the windows
Vibrating from the engine’s painful
Whine; the shadowy holes, portholes

To the city I have left behind.
But now it’s the bumpy trail of Ether
Through which many have fought

And died,

Glorious horizon! Cloud islands,
Swirling gray rivers resting upon white

Here, daunted, dainty cotton swabs,
Smooth satin sheets slide to horizon
Like infinite sheep, and there
Dimpled moguls on white desert sands

Oh! To master perpetual motion,
Forget about all the history’s been made
On the mainland, to joyfully play
On this endless white of angel’s wings;

Even at night the winged ship flies,
Threads itself through horizon’s eye
Let no untruth keep us from our task,

Or deviate us from our destiny
From all that is evil to all that is good.

Donald Standeford

5 thoughts on “From Old Earth to Infinite Ether

  1. A beautifully written poem as usual, Donald. I like how the first stanza produces in the reader (well, at least in me, don’t know about others) a feeling of vertiginous ascent comparable to climbing up the highest mountain, to sitting in a plane taking off, or even being on a rollercoaster heading to the highest point. It is a pleasant and fearful feeling at the same time. The last line of the first stanza reinforces this duality when height is specified and “the ears pop”. The “experts” and the “fools manipulated” stresses this as well. The coming stanzas (2nd and 3rd) are very beautiful and lyrical as far the images of the clouds and nature. Also, I like these lines. They come at the right time in the course of the poem because they even add more strength:

    “But now it’s the bumpy trail of Ether
    Through which many have fought

    And died,”

    The following lines are also very beautiful and powerful:

    “Even at night the winged ship flies,
    Threads itself through horizon’s eye
    Let no untruth keep us from our task,”

    The closing lines provide hope to humanity to do what is good and keep away from our dark side. These verses connected to the previous ones I love so much, provide a perfect closure of the poem with a spiritual element.

    As for the pic I can recognize your wife. Is this a family photograph on top of a high mountain you have recently been to?

    I am truly jealous of your poetic talent, Donald. So glad to have met you in the wondrous realms of wordpress.com.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ah, flying itself and the history of flying in a mental note, the jubilation of travel, lift-off, and suspension. Good words. No noise, just flight and carry above the clouds. But, I also saw the child in you gripping the handles and looking out the window. Depiction of childlike wonder and thrill.

    Liked by 3 people

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