God's Freedom

Who said you could use them...the sky and the clouds...
The sunrise and moonglow; who said you're allowed...

To rise above man, look down on the Earth,
Feel the freedom of flight man has sought since his birth.

Who said you could use them...the sun and the stars...
To find your way home and know who you are.

Pilot's Spirit

How could a pilot an atheist be...
Who travels the heavens, looks down on the sea...
Observes the creation of moisture-turned clouds.
Of Lightning's fire and thunder clapped loud.

To rise in a thermal, hang under a cloud,
Then land on a mountain field newly plowed...
To listen to sounds from a babbling brook
As it flows from the mountains where he lands to look.

Then with an urge to lose Earthly bounds,
He climbs in his airplane and lifts from the ground...
Invisible life that takes him on high,
He travels the heavens we mortals call sky.

(Published in Slipstream, Silver Wings Fraternity, August 2000)

The Captain

The child lays down upon the grass and looks to clouds serene,
He visualizes many things with shapes he's never seen.

He's never touched an aeroplane or ridden clouds so high,
And dreams of when he's old enough that he can learn to fly.

He'll chase the villains of the air and fly a loop and roll,
And spin down through the puffy clouds, never to grow old.

Then one day in rocking chair he feels the force of flight...
The gentle rocking turbulence Captain's lived with most his life.

He looks into the clouds serene and sees that young boy there;
He's proud and strong with aeroplane chasing villains through the air.

He'll chase the villains of the air and fly a loop and roll;
And spin down through the puffy clouds, never to grow old.

Ballooning

I know little about ballooning, but I hear the dragon's roar
And yard dogs barking the arrival of something from the past.

The ghostly glide through wispy dawn skies,
Over blades of grass still dripping from the morning dew.

Bright flashes of red, yellow, and purple...

Then with a roar, up into the heavens from whence she came,
Making the past the present, as if from a planet of long ago,
Or perhaps tomorrow.

(Published in Ballooning Magazine, Pg.32, Fall 1990)

Connected Paths

Touch the pavement of a road
Or swim the river or a stream;
Breathe the universal air
Or walk the flowers in between.

We're all connected by the Earth,
If far or near, from time of birth.
Don't miss your Friend of far away;
just touch the pavement of today.

For every road and every stream,
If traveled far, will lead to Me.

For every flower, if left alone and gone untilled,
Will bloom again another day;
They're made that way; they're here to stay.

Just like your Friend of far away,
They're all connected by the day.

Fireflies

There is a spark...a tiny light
That dances fields all through the night.

High on the ridge I look below
And watch the fireflies that glow.

With open jar and sudden flare
I catch one here and catch one there.

Until the night is turned to day
And in my jar one hundred stay.

The tiny lights, at once combined,
Will light the universe that's mine.

And in the darkness of the field

They light the jar down by my heel.

On my way home they make the glow
That lights my path as I walk slow.

And then, released, they all take flight
To make a hundred stars at night.

Mastery

Earth slowly tumbling and then rapidly rotating,
With first a roll and then a spin.

there is no airplane, no pilot, no skill,
Only instinctive clues learned by faith...
The act itself becoming the ultimate reality.

Stretched fabric humming with engine screaming
Its high-pitched cry, followed by the graceful
Curve and deep-throated roar of a loop.

No need to think of fear, mechanical movement
Or sequence, but only to let there be oneness of God's gifts of sky and mind.

(Published in Sport Aerobatics, Aug. 1981, back cover)

Bush Pilot

Floats kiss the surface of the lake and make fine mist of spray;
Bush pilots of Alaska often find the time to pray.

The towering peaks, the lonely miles, where wolf and wild things play...
Would make an awful landing site and ruin the pilot's day.

He views the world above the rest with sights that no one's seen
And wouldn't trade it for the world...its beauties so serene.

Floats kiss the surface of the lake and make fine mist of spray.
He ties his floatplane to the dock...to fly another day.

Rays Of Sun

Have you ever flown on rays of sun
And tumbled their space just for fun...

Viewed Earth below, then high above,
Then disappear with stick's light shove...

the patchwork quilt of brown and green
A carpet blurred by winged machine

That twists and spins and loops and rolls
As Earth is pulled and pushed below.

The strength of God pulls Earth away;
The ground is tossed in spinning play.
Then all is stopped in still-frame flight
As perfect landing comes into sight.

There on the ground with anchored feet,
The rays of sun seem all complete,

For you have flown on rays of sun
And tumbled their space...just for fun.

Old Homestead

Wooden halls where children played
And ran to Mom at end of day..
Where family ate and prayed their graces
In soft sunlit days of innocent faces.

Once rockers and porches and jasmine in summer,
With picnics and family all there in great number.
Hot biscuits and gravy and spirits of morning
Soft light in the evening to reverse the day's dawning.

Soon crops would fail and rains would fall
To dampen those ghosts in wooden halls...
To rot and rust the wood and tin,
But never defeat the spirit within.

In child's crayon and paper the last dream well written
And hung as a statement where life is forbidden...
Where rafters and walls are soggy and damp
And floors now cave in where horses once pranced.

Alone in a corner a storm-worn sign,
Alone in a child's room at the end of time...
"PLEASE KEEP US TOGETHER" is all that it says
As remembrance of family remains in their heads.