The Aviator, The Fledgling and The Crow

Eulogy for the Aviator
By Pindie Stephen

Amelia surfaced as she met her vanishing point –
a shiver in the atmosphere
moments before impact.
The precise mark of entry –
a silent parting in the Pacific –
metal slicing into a shimmer of blue
below the reeling gulls.
The sole betrayal of that tremor
may have been an unusually high wave
crashing onto a distant reef;
submerging life while surfacing a myth;
her palms, singing,
while parting deep the unexplored, welcoming depths.

By Linda Dunk

My mother
still as a Grecian Sphinx
sits quietly absorbed in her red, cloth-bound-book, gripped almost desperately
in the static, dry heat of our Texas home.
moving lightly on my way to the door, look back.
She finds my eyes.
An unspoken riddle electrifies our circuit.

I turn and pass through the doorway.
The screen clanks shut,
sending the little metallic bird ensconced in scrollwork
into vibrato shivers.

On our small, solid porch
I pause to catch my breath, then fledge out
over two steps.

My feet settle in a satisfying thud
on the red-tinged soil
that still bleeds Texas
despite the loads of dark loam
ministered by my father.

A modest, clapboard house,
much like our own,
stands to my right.
Inside, my friends
Margaret, Mike and Gene,
cocoon in family certitude,
til we meet across the lot line.

Moving leftward,
I pass the redbud not yet in decline,
then round the corner,
down the breadth of our side yard,
along the chain link fence
that bounds us from James Street.

Left again,
I pass through the breezeway
to the back of our solid nest.

reaching some 40 feet skyward,
the hybrid oak tree holds dominion over the back yard.
caught in its magnetic field,
rush forward
spring up
grab outstretched limb
lift and launch feet
to wedge into fork of twinned trunk.

Rising with this tree,
hidden pulse of sap within unrelenting heartwood,
I ascend a living stairway,
slowly, arduously,
up through twisting twigs, broken bough.
Bark scrapes thin, red etchings on tender skin.

Suspended within mottled green crown,
the lair of wild things,
I emerge to the shock of limpid blue, a window
to uncluttered vision of many roads and rooftops.
From a neighboring tree
a mockingbird trills and mimes beseechingly.

I look back across our roofline.
A bolt of pale-yellow porch light reaches over the front yard.
The air holds my name.
My mother is calling her daughter home.
From my perch
I look back.

T’was All a Dream
Morrey Grymes

Waking in the forest,
in the evening’s twi of light,
trees began to reach for me,
but not to my delight.
These trees began an incantation,
a whispered mantra with my name.
The night was warm and humid
but I shivered just the same.
Trees are tethered to the ground
they could not reach my space.
their branches with their longer reach
began to touch my face.
There is one tree I remember
Her branches had the strangest grip.
I looked up at her and quickly broke her grasp.
She looked down at me –

                “Come, come stay with me,
                              this is all I ask”

                                       Her song subsided in the distance,

                                                I’ve never run so fast.


Turn Left, Turn Right, Look Up
M.A. Sinnhuber

The crow sat on a tree limb,
his eye pricked by sun,
his feathers flushed by frisky rain,
sudden and warm, which
he shook off—
gathered the lunch
he had placed on the limb to his left,
set aside for his chick
waiting in the nest
on the other side of the preacher’s house
near Walter’s home
on the South Side of town
just across from the police station’s tree,
warmed by the sun
that had pricked the crow’s eye.
Walter had just watered his garden, using a light mist
which might have tattered the butterflies
visiting his flowers
under the live oak that housed
the cardinal near the reclusive
butterflies and cookies Walter’s wife
just made as the surprise gift
for his 50th birthday,
being observed by the crow
as dinner.

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With degrees from Cornell, Georgetown University, and L’Universita per Stranieri, Pindie Stephen has spent her career teaching and working to improve the lives of the migrant community. She is currently a docent at the Tampa Museum of Art. We saw other poetry of hers a few months ago, when she was part of OLLI-USF’s blended learning program with OLLI at Northwestern.

Linda Dunk has been an OLLI member since 2013. She has taken more than 50 courses in History, Humanities, Lifestyles, Literature & Writing, Technology and Poetry. She is a member of the OLLI SIG Write Time for Poets and is also a member of the OLLI Outdoors Hiking SIG.

M.A. Sinnhuber‘s chapbook, The Leaving Field, was published by MadBoooks in 2013.  A member of Madwomen in the Attic since 2004, she has been published in Voices from the Attic, Pittsburgh Poetry Review, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Vox Populi, Sandhill Review, and Pittsburgh City Paper.  A life-long Pittsburgh resident, now in Clearwater, she is working on a full-length manuscript.

Morrey Grymes has taught Life Story Writing, poetry, and chess courses for OLLI. He is a founding member of Live Poets discussion group, and active participant in two writing groups.


8 Replies to “The Aviator, The Fledgling and The Crow”

  1. I’m overwhelmed by the calm, insightful and beautiful poems. Thank you all for sharing some of your inner feelings with us….each poem takes us on a journey

  2. Wow–four such rich and compelling poems. I’ve got to spend some time on them before I comment further. For now, many kudos to you all..

  3. I’m in the mountains reading these poems. The juxtaposition of all of your poems, the Colorado sun, snow and mountains made for a perfect hour of my day. Thanks so much for sharing your work.

  4. I appreciate you four poets. I like your style, your ideas and your creativity.
    Many thanks for sharing. Cheers

  5. Thank you to all four poets. Wonderful images and a perfect escape from today’s thrashing with tax preparation.

  6. My salute to the four poets who have taken us up in a flight of delightful images! God bless you for your imagination, for the memories of your childhood and familiar surroundings that ring so true and universal.
    Thanks, our beautiful OLLI artists in poetry! Please, continue listening to your muses . . . .

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