Sunday May 23rd, 2010

The exercise:

Your prompt today: in the hot air balloon.

Heading home tomorrow, new post should be up either late afternoon or in the evening.


Silent flight.

Without the rumble of airplane engines, with the crisp air pressing jacket against skin and tossing hair in fifty different directions at once, you can close your eyes and imagine that you have become a bird. Transformed and free, above it all. 

It is magical. 

It is empowering. 

It is rejuvenating. 


“Can’t this thing go any faster?” 

… would be a whole lot better if Aunt Edith wasn’t up here with me.


Greg said...

Hah, Aunt Edith sounds like a character! A recurring character, maybe? ;-)

In the hot air balloon

As the sun rises I hear the beat of wings,
And the shade of Icarus keeps pace with me,
Hovering in the lambent air, eyes flashing,
Disturbed and intrigued at the same time
By the hot air balloon that has born me aloft
Up here, where it grows hard to breathe,
Beyond the reach of the sensible, Daedalean,
Contraptions of mortal men.

I drink rain water caught in an upturned hat,
And Icarus sneers before the brightening sun
Sears his wings and he plummets once more,
Like a falling star, to impact on the Earth.
But tomorrow will only bring his rebirth
And I wonder that the Gods are amused
By this continuous cycle of rise and fall
When my hot air balloon never falls at all.

A gentle wind, sweet Zephyrus, bears me ever East,
The clouds avoid me save to fill my hat with rain,
And Icarus's presence is a bitter reminder
That the Gods are capricious to a finely sharpened point.
Have I dared too much, to fill a bag with the
Burning gas and venture to the Heavens? Shall no-one
but the Gods view the world from up on high?
It seems so, for my punishment, like many gone before me,
Is that unless I at last touch land,
I may not die.

g2 (la pianista irlandesa) said...

Yours, 'Loo, made me think of part of my favorite xkcd (, if you're curious).
"Sir we've just received word from the invasion!"
"what is it? Have we won?"
"Far from it, sir! They're outnumbered three to one, and losing ground fast! We're their last hope!"
"Then we have no time to lose. Fire up El Globo and ready for launch."
"...sir, isn't that the hot air balloon?"
"Do we have anything else?"
"No, sir."
"then fire it up. On my command we'll launch at full speed."
"But sir, it's a--"
"I don't care if it's a plastic egg carton on wheels, just fire it up!"
"Yes sir!"
A sort of Variation on a Theme by Munroe, I suppose.

Heather said...

My thermostat reads 92. The hair sticking to the back of my neck makes me believe that it is truly that warm in here. I am more focused on the need to call the air conditioner repair man than writing about hot air of any sort at this point. So, be kind. Please.


Andrew planned it to be perfect. He thought of everything. Jill, the love of his life would be hard pressed to say no. He'd even gone as far as to buy a second ring, ignoring the one they had picked out together and stored in a memory box loaded with pictures of their life together under the bed. Grandma and Grandpa had agreed to watch their son. There was nothing left to do but invite her to Galena.

She said yes, as he assumed she would. They drove together in the car, bundled against the chilly temperatures and chattering incessantly about the bed and breakfast they had found on-line for a good price. They mapped out their plans for the evening. They would scout the novelty shops, have dinner at Vinnie Vinuchi's, watch the choir sing in the park by the river banks, and call it an early night. There wouldn't be much else to do in the tiny town until the next morning anyway.

They found some trinkets in the shops, ordered Chicken Marsalla off the menu, and sang along to the carols. Slowly, they meandered back to their room, enjoying each other without the always threatening interruption of a child's non-existent knock. Andrew woke her early the next morning. She fought the early morning by turning over and going back to sleep.

He persisted until she grumpily climbed into the car. He drove them the three miles to Eagle's Gates. He pulled her out of the car and approached the guide. He welcomed them and explained the half-day agenda. Jill backed steadily away. She could not be persuaded to enter the basket. Andrew saw the perfection of his proposal slipping away with the likelihood of her relenting.

He fell to his knee, producing the ring. "I wanted to give you the world. You want much less. Instead, I will give you the solid ground on which to build our lives together. We can soar to the skies when you are ready" It wasn't what he intended, but the result was the same.

morganna said...

Floating in the deep blue sky
Burner's roar the only sound
Sun comes over the mountain
Dawn deepening into day
Warming sky.

Flight over. Down we come.
Uh oh. Not the power lines, not the trees.
Another river landing.

I grew up in a place perfect for hot air balloons, and there is a huge fiesta every fall, but there are some places the balloonists are not allowed to land, and some places they can't. There is also a shallow river running through town, and there are always a few balloonists who misjudge things and can't get to another large flat place to land. The locals think it's pretty funny, but I'm sure the sheriff's water rescue department thinks otherwise.

Marc said...

Greg - a recurring character? Now there's an interesting thought...

Your poem was damned awesome, if I may say so myself. Me likes it muchos.

g2 - that was a good one, thanks for linking it for me :)

Your 'plastic egg carton on wheels' line was great too.

Heather - under such extreme conditions I'm impressed you could write anything at all!

That ending was heart-melting-in-chest perfect. It doesn't hurt that I'm a hopeless romantic either.

Morganna - that second stanza was great and your additional info after the poem only increased its greatness :)