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April 28, 2005

Aviators

Who am I to break the theme? I'm too sick right now, anyway, to want to do any thoughtful posting [Muffy, under her breath: "heh, when start?"]

I'm going to go ugly early. Everybody likes airplanes.

Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;

Sunward I have climbed and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of - wheeled and
Soared and swung

High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along,
And flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.

Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew.

And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
the high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.


Pilot Officer John Gillespie Magee, Jr

Heh. This is what Bill's comment refers to. From this post last December - By the way, Bill - Castle Argghhh! is #1 on the net for this poem.

Which reminds me--the starched-wing folks have Magee's High Flight, but only us helo types have Anonymous's Low Flight:

Oh, I have barely slipped the muddy clutch of Earth
And thrashed the skies on dusty, untracked rotor blades;
Earthward I've auto'ed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of moths and bees--and done a thousand things
That would scare the s**t out of you--skidded and drooped and flared
At weed-level. Hov’ring there,
I've chased the frantic armadillo, and lost
The race to insignificant headwinds.
Forward, and a little up, taunting LTE
I've topped the General's hedge with drooping turns
Where never Eagle, or even Warthog flew.
And, shaking with low-frequency vibration, I've lumbered
The low uncontrolled airspace below Victor Airways,
Put out my hand and searched for FOD.