Gloria's Theme Challenge

#1 Flight

Challenge Posts


Maryse Achong

Borrowed Wings
Final Flight
Flights of Fancy
Una Paloma Blanca

Kathy Anderson

Collective Flight
Vaporous Stratus

Gloria Carpenter

Guided Flight
Held Hostage
My Music

Lorraine Dafney

On a Wing and a Prayer
Small Squadron

Kevin McKinney

Constant Light
Nesting Pair
Upwardly Mobile

Leny Roovers

The serious business of flying
Ryter Roethicle

Cargoe's 2006 Style
Flight Memories
Like a Lark Ascending
My Wings
Lovers Question
Swan of Turin
Time to Close


Wings of a Dove

Maryse Achong

Borrowed Wings

If I could borrow angel’s wings for one day,
I ‘d use them to fly straight to Heaven’s gate
And hope that Simon Peter lets me enter
For just a little while at any rate.

I’d want to see my Father just to let him know
How much we’ve missed him since he went away,
Ask him to pass the word on to the others
Who helped to make me who I am today.

I would ask then to meet with my beloved
And have a chance at last to say ‘farewell’
‘Til my name gets to first place on that roll call
That starts the tolling of that final bell.

I wouldn’t dare to look upon the Face of God,
That would be more than human eyes could stand;
But I could mix with seraphim and cherubs,
And that alone for me would be quite grand.

By then it would be time for me to return
To this world and to deal with earthly things,
But my life would never be the same because
Just for a short while I wore angel’s wings.


Final Flight

A scheduled flight that promised no surprise,
We’ll never know if he had second thoughts
About his leaving; but people do what
They are called to do, and so he went up;
That was the last time that he would be seen;
A watery grave is now his resting place.
But there is comfort in the knowledge that
He died while doing something that he loved;
Though his body lies on some ocean bed,
His spirit lives, until I too am gone.

Flight of Fancy

In dreams I fly where’er I please
To places far and near,
No restraints and no boundaries,
No words of caution hear;
I’ve shared a cup of mountain dew
With the man in the moon,
Have met the sandman as he flew
To earth to sing his tune.

I’ve sat on banks of clouds of white
Warmed by the sun’s first rays
Watched birds and aircraft pass in flight
I’ve had such lazy days.
I’ve flown above the highest trees
Have spent an afternoon
Playing with butterflies and bees
And even learned their tune.

And free from human feet of clay,
I move with so much ease
I leave behind the earthly fray
And fly o’er land and seas:
So maybe if you listen well,
Someday you’ll hear me croon,
As I float over hill and dell,
My favourite little tune.


Una Paloma Blanca

"Una paloma blanca, I’m just a bird in the sky"
That’s all these creatures ever want to be,
And given the gift of sweet song and wings to make them fly,
No one should make them lose that liberty.

"Una paloma blanca over the mountains I fly",
The lyrics of the song say everything ;
They expect to have their freedom until the day they die,
Not caged whilst someone urges them to sing.

"Once I had my share of losing, they locked me on a chain",
Man’s ways are sometimes hard to understand,
And though some lessons have been learned still time and time again
He strives to grasp that bird within his hand.

"They tried to break my power, oh I still can feel the pain",
Just let birds do the things that they do best,
To soar through open friendly skies, to sing their sweet refrain,
Until its time to return to their nest .

And in our dreams we streak through midnight skies to catch the stars,
Where ‘neath the moons soft glow we dance and play,
Perhaps touch heaven, and cavort with Jupiter and Mars,
‘Til sunrise marks the start of a new day.

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Kathy Anderson

Collective Flight

Your thoughts come to me on many wings,
The feathered, the leathered, angel'd...
Those man made silver steeds of sky
Come through the clouds as I exhale

And cry loudly, arms upraised, too,
To pour your thoughts for you in verse...
In terse replies of knowledge seen
In minds eye flying through mine eye.

The many birds that flock to me
Find the seeds of their unlabored fruit...
In me, in mind, collective flight
Brough forth as I uplift their power.


Vaporous Stratus

Oh god, oh god, release thou me,
Make haste that Jupiter and
Venus leave not a trace of fate
Within the stratosphere of days,
That no prayer finds wing to attend
The mate dance of wind and waters.
This rain has no place on earths plane,
Only quick release of thunder
From a distant galaxies sun,
No way for sky to kiss my ground.

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Gloria Carpenter


A thunderbolt proclaims supremacy,
Resounding, as the eyes of darkness pierce.
A moment split in stillness to conduct
a rage, unleashed from tempest’s restless soul.
Awaken, half-dead things, and join the flight!
On wings, uplift once more before decay.
Absorb its freeing strength; inhale its power;
Connect again to unifying force.
Now, soar above in whirls of mountain white ~
Become this night, where dark and light are one.


Guided Flight

Oh, show me how you learned to glide
in raised relief, enhanced with light,
unruffled by the surging tide,
serenity within your sight.

I see your canvas opened wide,
soft traces etched by wings of white.
Oh, show me how you learned to glide
in raised relief, enhanced with light.

It is my wish to fly beside,
to share your vision from such height.
I look to you to be my guide,
a fledgling on a virgin flight.
Oh, show me how you learned to glide
in raised relief, enhanced with light.


Held Hostage

My flights of fancy take me far,
for I have always flown!
How else to travel when you’re young,
before the truth is blown?
I used to fly with wings outstretched,
until I heard, "Sit still".
And so I flew inside a book ~
but not against my will,

For there I found another world
of fantasy and fact,
with many books piled up beside
in castle towers, stacked.
I flew, I soared beyond the skies
where all my dreams fulfill.
My books have held me hostage since ~
but not against my will.


My Music

My music lives in silence, on a breeze.
I taste it in the gentle mist that clings
with dew upon the lip of morning’s tease ~
on whistles through the trees a whisper brings.
A gathering of whirling, skirting peaks
in wild abandon dancing to dismiss
all cares, as zephyr plays and wisdom speaks.
In essence, it is spirit. It is bliss.

My music lives in silence, flying free
with lightest touch, a trace of feather brush;
or pulses with the passion of the sea,
its heart in rhythm, thrashing with the rush,
until it crests beyond mortality.
It carries me to soar where love exists
on higher planes of peaceful harmony ~
In essence, it is spirit. It is bliss.

My music lives in silence, to enthrall.
It flourishes to reach the depths within,
with floods of bursting song it breaks the wall,
emotion spilling tears where tides begin,
absorbing all, through every single pore,
and yet a calmness rests in reminisce,
as letting go is key to heaven’s door.
In essence, it is spirit. It is bliss.

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Lorraine Dafney


mathematical as
astronauts anticipate their
blast off


On a Wing and a Prayer

Your seat is by the window
The clouds are putting on a show
Acres of farmland black dirt
Looks beautiful below
You can almost count
Each crop row by row
All is going well the
Flight is on time
You doze off after eating
Satisfied all is fine
Suddenly you hear
Fasten your seatbelt
Emergency landing
In the middle of your bliss
And realize it was the
Onboard movie
As you say a prayer and
Thank Jesus


Small Squadron

and black and small
they fly between my plants
then dine upon all nasty bugs

in thousands they're
no match for my lady
bugs who will consume them before
flights to

flights to
anywhere what
a wonderful way to
live to soar to destinations



A white bird soared
Like the white peace
Aboard a crew of
Seven today
Landed in heaven
Had set out to explore
And perform tests
To benefit the future of
Man in space
For the entire human
Where opportunities
Remain like open
Sadly on February 1,2003
We were left to acknowledge
Your final destination
Home, without you
Your bravery,courageous,
Souls and hearts
Will sail on and on
And on
As we salute our
Nation’s flag
At half mast
To those who lost
Their lives on this
Seven angels received
Their wings
They earned them
And will continue
To fly

In Honor of the Twentieth Anniversary this Week.

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Kevin McKinney

A Constant Light

Bring every flag down to half mast,
Let every heart take flight;
For fourteen heroes braved their last
Bold challenge into that dark night.
All great endeavours require our best
And they were best of all;
And nothing puts our will to test
As when we see them fall.
They knew the danger as did we,
But still, it's hard to take;
They came so close to pulling free,
Your heart just wants to break.
Yet there is some consolation
For we here left behind;
There is a brand new constellation
In the sky above mankind;
Fourteen stars of radiant beauty
All beckoning to us; follow.
Two squadrons there remain on duty,
Whose epitaph will not ring hollow.

In Memorium of the Challenger and Columbia disaster


Nesting Pair

I can't tell if he's coming or going,
It doesn't much matter why;
The feeling is sweeter than the knowing
Of which direction he flies.
If he's leaving, it goes without saying
It's only a short goodbye;
When he returns with food, he'll stay
And they'll sing of his time in the sky.

If he follows the sun to its setting,
He'll still be stuck in his track;
In the dim gray twilight of regretting
Not being here when it comes back.
There's no finer device than roaming
For strengthening character;
So long as he tempers it with homing,
They'll be birds of a feather.


Upwardly Mobile

We do not demonstrate this trait from birth;
'Twas not among god's gifts in paradise
When fewer creatures flew than walked the earth;
How is it man has mastered this device,
And how incalculable is its worth
To teeming masses lifting up their eyes?
Defying gravity and likewise, death,
A leap of faith first takes place in the mind.

Now see the great lizards reinvented;
Cast in stone, when once they had no rivals;
By re-engineering they've ascended
Skyward in a triumph of survival.
What new found admiration must attend
The myraid departures and arrivals
At great gatherings of fine feathered friends,
And leaps of faith that take place in the mind.

A flight of sparrows startled from their lunch
Delights the inner child in everyone;
Yet fledglings are like arrows I've a hunch;
They'll not leave the nest without persuasion;
They need a push to activate the launch,
And they miss the target on occasion;
As near to freedom, Icarus flew once,
That leap of faith first took place in his mind.

And so it was with Leonardo's dream;
He saw the view, but he was born too soon;
Three centuries later, he'd love to have seen
The view from Montgolfier's balloon;
Till a simple bicycle building team,
Loosed our bonds and we landed on the moon.
Now that we've slipped the solar system's seams,
Each leap of faith must take place in the mind.

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Leny Roovers

Flight (Rhupunt)

Wetness still clings
on fragile strings-
gossamer wings
slowly unfold.

Two huge brown eyes
are her disguise;
she lifts and flies,
her wings red gold.

First there’s dancing-
males are prancing,
sideways glancing
in gentle sway.

In flight, she waits
to find her mates;
she will have dates-
and eggs to lay.

On juicy leaves
she gives- receives;
mission achieved,
colours ablaze.

Her eggs now grow
neat in a row-
they’ll undergo
cycle’s next phase.


The serious business of flying

Perched on the nest, small fledglings look around;
wings and hearts flutter, fright of flight prevails
till instinct kicks in- shifting swiftly, go!
Nearby trees bring safety, proud looks around.

The air can be trusted, with wide-spread tails
they lift off again; each flight teaching flow.
When migration comes near, each year around,
wings have to be strong, to follow its trails.

To feed and get fat, is a serious show-
a life-saving business, no less, get round!
On days filled with eating, they sing sweet tales,
I listen enraptured, seated below.

Each flying class takes them further away-
my heart follows gladly, yet I must stay.

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Ryter Roethicle

Cargoes 2006 Style

A380 of Singapore from distant Frankfurt
Speeding in the stratosphere on its way Singapore
With a cargo of tourists with cameras
And businessmen from Munich trying sell their wares.

Stately Qantas Jumbo with the Flying Kangaroo
On its way to Los Angeles in the far US of A.
With families for Disney world and Hollywood
And drunken football players who have not grown up.

Crowded Virgin Airlines with maintenance overdue
Thrashing down to Melbourne for the Commonwealth Games
With a cargo of sports fans from all over the world
And bags of tourist dollars spent in the name of sport.

(With apologies to John Masefield)


Flight (Canzonetta)

God gave Angels and birds the gift of flight
Leaving man to stomp and root around.
To many creatures he gave this right
Yet we evolved and still stayed downed.
I look each day and watch the avians play
Identifying them all by call, by sound.
These calls tell me how they enjoy the day
Scornful of us mortals held to ground.

As the evening falls listen to their calls
And bragging of the adventures found.
Of sink and holes and huge thermals,
With balanced wings they flew around.
Reaching to the black bottomed cloud
Then flying along streets that now abound
A final descent into the evenings shroud
Scornful of us mortals held to ground.

As the evening arrives the bats come alive,
You hear them call out their unique sound.
Blind they are, yet they feed and survive
And in nights darkness they fly around.
Whilst mortals sleep, their sonic beep
Aids flight for which they are renowned.
With mornings creep they return to their keep,
Scornful of us mortals held to ground.


Flight Memory

All my flight checks are complete
And I signal to my mate to hook me on.
The bloke holding my wing waves all clear
The batsman swings the signal to take in slack.

3000 metres away the winch driver puts it into gear
And watches the red bat being waved
As he sees the bat start swinging overhead
He opens the throttle and pulls the glider towards him.

The wingman has walked away there is enough speed
The pilot is in charge now.
The batsman is no longer needed either,
Together they watch the aircraft gather speed away from them.

The driver and the pilot work as one
Their only link, the steel cable being wound back onto the reel
As it pulls the aircraft inexorably faster and faster
Then the driver sees the separation as the craft slowly rises.

The angle of lift is perfect as I watch my airspeed indicator
And see my altimeter steadily rise,
My hand is ready to release the cable should there be a break.
Or waiting till the height is right.

I can see the black bottomed clouds forming
Over by Point Cook and know there is lift there
I pull the release lever twice and bank right
Heading to the clouds and the lift.

If I don’t find lift here, I know it will be a short flight
Too often felt here on the Laverton field
But I’m in luck and I feel the lift
Carefully banking I start to circle in the thermal.

Weak at first closer to the ground
Then I see faster and faster my rise
Until I feel the cold and see the black bottom
Of the cloud that has helped me here.

Now is the time for us to part
The silence surrounds me as I follow the street of clouds
And know they will be there a while
I look around and see all is clear.

I push the stick forwards to gain speed
Swapping height for speed till it’s enough
And pull back and feel my craft climb
Yes I feel as she is still in control over the top.

The loop now complete I still have height
And pull back this time as I reach the top
I feel the stall and kick in the turn
That caused so many English deaths.

Once again I hack into the lift
Joining the birds that see me no different
Except for my size and weight
And that I have no way to rejoice with them.

The cold tells me it is the end
And once again I soar between the clouds.
I see the afternoon sun moving west
Knowing now it is my time.

I pull on the stick and as speed falls away
I feel the unbalance that I have caused
And as I feel the stall, I kick in the spin
And spiral towards the Earth,

My swift and scenic descent is nothing a bird would do
No bird would give away such joy
But I am mortal and bound by rules and time
And so I centre the stick and level out.

Downwind leg I can see that the day is gone
On base leg I count, I am the last one.
A reluctant finals towards the crafts home
Then one final check and I am gone.


Like a Lark Ascending

Like a lark my soul ascends
Gently at first in a new rise of warmth
That is created by newly admitted love,
Reluctant and nervously given.
Then like the lark rising higher
Love sounds in a series of arpeggios
Sounding out on each apogee
Trust is won and in time is given.

Souls unite in a duet of flight
The crescendo of our movement arrives
The lark that is my soul fly’s higher still
Giving voice in a soaring cadenza.
In time my soul descends to Earth
But not alone nor will ever be again.


Lovers Question

How long is it since we learned to fly?
One night so long ago I held and kissed you
And knew from that moment on that I would
Hold you and kiss you again and again and again.
Now all foolish thoughts will leave the scene
So together we may ascend on winged thought
And look down and pity other poor mortals
Who's love will ne'r teach them flight like ours
. The sun will bless and welcome our love each morn
And the stars will be our playground each night.


My Wings

My wings shall ride the silken morn,
Patterning the silent and sunlit sky,
Under Cancer and Capricorn,
Flying where no bird can ever fly.

My wings cover the tapestried earth,
And the shot blue silk of the sea,
Flying high see the sun give birth,
With the world below in my apogee.

My wings cover the entire world,
From over the conquered mountain,
Where cloud pennants are unfurled,
Over which I ruled as sovereign.

My wings now turn for what is home,
Whispering and singing out in flight,
The day is done, no time to roam,
Descending now towards the night.


Swan of Turin

Tonight Sibelius shall be my choice,
The lights are low the wine tastes good.
A lonely oboe makes felt its voice,
As the Swan of Turin floats from the woods.
With the strings I float amongst the stars,
An interlude that made the heavens melt.
My half closed eyes wish all this was ours,
With its eternal floating presence felt.

The music softens as if to fly away,
And cellos sound, like they are from afar.
As if welcoming softly the close of day,
The violins call out to the Evening Star.
The music now symbolises the night,
Daytime creatures into their nests melt.
All avians have long since ceased their flight
Still with eternal floating presence felt.


Time To Close

I decided tonight that I will fly no more,
My feet will stay planted firmly on the ground.
My heart is no longer set on foreign forays
Where mind is tired from analysing what is said
And correctness of speech in alternate tongues.
I know that man is a fool and an eternal optimist
Who believes what he says, but deviate minds
Read into things and put slants where level exists
Converting truths because of previous lies told.
I know it’s time to close the Hanger Doors.

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Clouds like galleons, clouds like sheep
clouds like snowy Himalayas.
As a child I flew my balloon between them
marvelling at the filigree bridges
built from high-cliffed city to city
tiered and buttressed empires of dream
and beautiful maidens hurling cloud flowers
down at my basket as I passed between their balconies
following the Sky-river
in its inexorable sweep towards the sunset.
But as I grew older my belief in balloons slowly faded
and my imagination became more earthbound
- clouds became mere receptacles of wateer vapour
and I ceased to give them any thought
save when they unleased their aqueous cargo over me
and I raised and shook my fist at them,
completely forgetting the beautiful Princess Imzelda
in her Palace of a Thousand Minarets
where, once every seven hundred years
a phoenix comes to lay its single egg
hatching it in the prismatic flames of its own self-immolation.
Ah, what a petty thing is the mind of a man
that prefers the steam combustion engine
to the winged flight of the hippogriff,
that travels from airport to identical airport
in his claustrophobic planes
without ever once putting in at the majestic Sky Cities
of Helios or Empyrion,
drinking beer than tastes of aluminium or tin
when he could be sipping frost-chilled sherbet
with astonishing sylphs and djinn of the Air,
listening to that marvellous music gandharvas
play upon the harps and cellos of the wind
and the fabulous lies of which Sky-poets sing...


Guided Flight

O for the wings of a dove
then I might fly above this ocean
my little breast bursting with song
a happy gleam in my eyes.
Would you be surprised to find me
on your windowsill,
a vagrant poet dropped from the skies?

Some birds sing of endless flight
some birds dream of angels,
some sing in a Cockney accent
some look like Clark Gable.
To sit and pick a grain of corn
from your outstretched hand,
weary from my journey
would be for me to drink and dine
at some High Lady's table.

O for the outstretched wings of a dove
a good map and a compass
- with the promise of crab-meat and dumppplings,
there's much I could accomplish...

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2006 Poetry Challenge
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