Sonnet 24

Cloud Formations

Pilots are inexorably tied to weather. Under certain conditions, it would be certainly hazardous to fly. One day, when I was working at Edwards, one of my pilots was standing and staring at the weather. I stopped to watch him. It was so organic. His entire being was going up there, and he wanted to understand it, that day, to it’s fullest. The weather report would not be enough. Like a businessman reading the file on a prospective client, like an HR person reading about a prospective hiree, a farmer looking to see if it’s time to plant and of course, a sailor wondering where the prevailing winds will take him.

Sonnet XXIV

Just remember, if you crash because of weather, your funeral will be held on a sunny day. – Layton A. Bennett 

You stood there and gauged the patterns of air,
the clouds and the turbulence. Yet, the wind,
not robust enough to tousle your hair,
was able to make clarity rescind.
To and fro your eyes scanned the perilous
landscape. In your mind, a scenario
evolved, with way too many mischievous
heroics to feed your growing ego.
Then you pitched up into the nasty sky
as if you were controlling the weather.
Regardless of the conditions up high,
you would return on wing without feather.
Thus, as each day goes by in your young life,
you reappear to your offsprings and wife.


I am responding to the prompt, “Write about a memorable encounter relating to work .”

Post for:

POETICS: Workin’ For It

Also posted on:

Photo credit:  Bat-Ami Gordin  © 2012 all rights reserved, credit if you use it, please.

About zongrik

For those of you who do not know the handle "zongrik," that would be Bat-Ami Gordin. Most people call me "Tammy." Bat-Ami means "daughter of my nation" in Hebrew. It's a heavy name to carry around. I answer to either name. I also answer to "mama." Some Basic Things about me: Animal lover, mom, poet/writer, dramatic soprano, photographer, teacher/tutor, CERT/Technician and, oh yeah, aerospace engineer. I consider myself "The Astro-Poet." To learn more about the origins of the word "zongrik" see whats-a-zongrik?

Posted on June 3, 2012, in D’verse Poets Pub, Poetry and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 28 Comments.

  1. Well sure…I can see why that guy was scanning the sky, checking the wind and other variables..his life depended on it…smart. Love this observation.

  2. I like the way you paint this guy–he seems very human, amid forces that could terrify, he seeks(and wins) an equilibrium and control.

  3. cool write something to the pilot which is most probably habitual to him as breathing is to us …a must to carry on ! thanks for a fab share x

  4. I hate to fly… couldn’t imagine have to work on a plane.

  5. I could see this! Very vivid write! You describe the pilot well.

  6. Wow! I love the way this poem is written and its humour (I have a fear of flying – the addition of the comment by L A Bennett made me smile).

  7. very nice…yeah i have been in the air with sheer winds and its no fun…taking off like a bird…only i hope you return to that family…

  8. Fabulous – and I’m in total agreement with Laurie!

  9. I love the photograph what a gorgeous sky and your sonnet is terrific, I’d love to be a pilot in another life…I just love flying…

  10. Excellent. My Dad’s a private pilot, and this is SO true.

  11. I like your portrayal of the pilot ~ We rely on technology for our work, but sometimes, there is more to those tools, there is always our judgement and experience for the landscape ~

  12. Cool story and image of the pilot. I liked your use of the sonnet form also. Actually, I almost wrote mine in pseudo-sonnet form as well, but I cut off the last two lines because they weren’t necessary. I lol’d at your comment btw 😛 Reminds me of my first boss…

  13. I got a nice sense if mystery, as if the pilot is there or maybe in the air still. That’s a nice effects and adds a unique dimension to the poem.

  14. heck…not an easy decision…the weather can change so quickly and a pilot has much resonsibility.. somehow reminded me a bit of maverick from top gun..nicely penned tammy

  15. Nicely penned! I particularly like the lines “Then you pitched up into the nasty sky
    / as if you were controlling the weather.” They convey a confidence–perhaps even an overconfidence–that seems necessary if you spend most of your awake hours with your feet off the ground. Thanks also for your comments on my piece.

  16. Hi Tammy, good to make your acquaintance – thanks for your visits and thoughts on my poetry.

    This is an interesting take on piloting – an almost desperate understanding of nature and ultimate belief in self – I really like the quotation you use to start the piece, which I find thought-provoking.

  17. That’s beautifully written sonnet!
    Being a pilot would be such an adventurous profession, you paint the thoughts of pilots very nicely.

  18. Right on.
    I know a meteorologist personally, and he does the same thing. 🙂

  19. poemsofhateandhope

    So nice- I love how your words paint a picture of a man absorbed, consumed, focused on his work- and all wrapped up in a great form….there was a strange romance in this one as well…I’m not sure why it made me feel that…maybe it’s the romance of man vs the elements, that vision of a pilots heroism….I bet all pilots wish they could control the weather

  20. all time oldes

    Great descriptive writing – fine sonnet – for me the romance was fed by “return on wing without feather” at just the right moment in the verse to confirm the man’s reasoning. Lovely poetry. Pam

  21. I had never thought about pilots in this light. I think our perceptions of pilots have been set by movies and TV. I’ll look at them differently now.

  22. You not only write powerful, realistic-yet-dreamy poetry, Tammy… you take a mean photo. That is one carnival glass sky! Makes me think back on “The Right Stuff,” where Sam Shepard (as Chuck Yeager, who broke the sound barrier, I believe), all the intrepid men who stared death in the face, daring The Reaper to take his plane on that day. Makes my blood run cold to think of that kind of machismo, espec. among those with families… Wow, what food for thought! Peace, Amy

  23. Really good. I love how you got inside that pilot’s head. Well done!

  24. Great words and an awesome sky. Fantastic colors.

  25. Fabulous Job. I enjoyed the rhyme.. 🙂

  26. Very interesting read! You made me feel like I was standing there staring at the pilot too!

  27. I think to be a pilot is to be a brave individual 🙂


  28. Interesting observations, but I certainly understand why someone in such a position would factor in things seeming ordinary to you and me as something more tangible…significant. I’m a big scaredy cat, so you’ll never catch me flying the friendly skies!

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