Archives for posts with tag: flying

sugar jets
Sugar Jets
by Patrick T. Reardon

I was six and unclear on the concept.
The commercial, black and white, for Sugar Jets
told me, if I ate a bowl, I would be jet-propelled.

I could see the boy and girl eat Sugar Jets
and fly around the box, jet-propelled.
They were drawings. But a contract was offered,
I thought.

You can see where this is going.

I nagged my mother or maybe my father
— a scary proposition, either way —
to buy Sugar Jets, without saying why.

A box was bought.
I ate a bowl
and went to the back porch, two flights up
from the pavement and lawn below,
looked out over the yard and alley and blacktop,
a gray pavement playground.

At least I didn’t throw myself off.

Instead, I waited for whatever would happen
to jet-propel me
out into the air
and into freedom
and into wonder, maybe a rebirth of wonder.

I am still waiting.

IMAGE: Still from animated commercial for Sugar Jets cereal (mid-1950s).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: True story.  Lucky I didn’t jump.

PTR mid-March 2020

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Patrick T. Reardon, a three-time Pushcart Prize nominee, is the author of nine books, including The Loop: The “L” Tracks That Shaped and Saved Chicago; the poetry collection Requiem for David and Faith Stripped to Its Essence, a literary-religious analysis of Shusaku Endo’s novel Silence. His poetry has appeared in Burningwood Literary Journal, Eclectica, Esthetic Apostle, Ground Fresh Thursday, Literary Orphans, Rhino, Spank the Carp, Main Street Rag, The Write Launch, Hey I’m Alive, Meat for Tea, Silver Birch Press, Tipton Poetry Journal, UCity Review, and Under a Warm Green Linden. Reardon, who worked as a Chicago Tribune reporter for 32 years, has published essays and book reviews widely in such publications as the Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Crain’s Chicago Business, National Catholic Reporter, and U.S. Catholic. His tenth and eleventh books are forthcoming: Puddin: The Autobiography of a Baby, a Memoir in Prose Poems (2021, Third World Press) and Darkness on the face of the water (2022, Kelsay Books)His Pump Don’t Work blog can be found at

flying gull espen sundve
How to learn to fly
by Mathias Jansson

Throw yourself to the ground
and miss
Create an anti-gravity space
in your backyard
Transplant a pair of wings
from a pterosaur
Be born by parents
that are birds and can fly
Study for a year
and take a flight certificate
Or take the hard way
close your eyes and use your imagination.

PHOTO: Escaping from Alcatraz by Espen Sundve, used by permission.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I started to think what I wanted to learn. And I wanted to learn to how to fly, but biological humans cannot fly by their own, so the task is impossible. The poem is about an impossible dream, but even if we cannot fly we can use our imagination to work around the problem and find new solutions to problems that seems impossible and against our natural boundaries.

me2021 copy

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mathias Jansson is a Swedish art critic and poet. He has contributed with poetry to different magazines and anthologies as Maintenant 8, 10 & 11: A Journal of Contemporary Dada. He has contributed to anthologies from Silver Birch Press and other publishers. Visit him at 



IMAGE: “Icarus” by Henri Matisse (1943).


NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This poem, originally published by Obsession, 3 (Spring 2012), was inspired by a flight over Hampton Beach, New Hampshire, on an ultralight airplane with no cockpit.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: J.C. Elkin is an optimist, linguist, singer, traveler, theater critic and founder of the Broadneck Writers’ Workshop. Author of World Class: Poems Inspired by the ESL Classroom (Apprentice House 2014), her prose and poetry appear in such journals as Kansas City Voices, Kestrel, The Delmarva Review, Ducts, and Steam Ticket.

PHOTO: The author at Redwood Refuge, Muir Woods, Marin County, California (2009).

by Ann Menebroker 

Here’s the deal: a selfie in words.
The mind, a perfect drone, some 2000 feet up in the air,
is looking down. You are here
it says.
All around it are word-squatters, thought-whores
basically heading your way.
And there, in the center, is a miniature red
balloon with your name on it.
A buffalo nickel in a pickle jar.
Sadie Thompson yelling for deliverance.
Helen Keller writing in your hand.
Pardon all the little blunders.
Bring it down. Land the goddamned thing!

IMAGE: “Storm Below” by Jim Darling, available at C.A.V.E. Gallery (Venice, CA).


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Ann Menebroker never wrote a poem in her place of birth, Washington D.C. She continues to write them in her California environment, however.  Putting aside the usual, where she’s been published, how many books, all of that, she  prefers to say that on June 22, 2014, she read with three wonderful long time Sacramento friends, to a full house, and with a grateful heart.  The reading was introduced as “Tough Old Broads’ Poetry.”

Author portrait by Henry Denander.

by Rick Smith

The morning air bursts

with bird conversation

dialogue and incantation
debate and invitation.

Wren is drunk with company
and sudden purpose.

Next door,

in a cottonwood,

a mockingbird
a cell phone

ringing in the wild.
* * * * *
ghost wren

dreaming on a cable


and still

like a shadow

about to dart

into a windless space

flesh and fiber


the tension of wound steel

a cello in the night

an ordinary cello


in a windless room
* * * * *
Something dangerous,

a red-tailed hawk

and coming fast,

like wind

off Lake Michigan.
Wren, lost in dreams,

freezes, off-guard.

The hawk

snaps a yard rat

off a clothesline

not ten feet away.

disguises anxiety.
Wren breaks out

of dream time,

arguing with unruly ghosts
* * * * *
A grey wren

foolish enough

to believe in Indian summer

stares into a black

and gritty wind

shakes with every gust,

imagines a subtle hand

on a dimmer switch

in a night

slow descending.
When wren is absent

where does she go?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rick Smith began writing under the guidance of Michael Casey at Solebury School in Pennsylvania. Close family friendships and Carl Sandburg and Lenore Marshall also made a lasting impact on Rick’s life choices. He went on to study with Anthony Hecht at Bard College, George Starbuck, Marvin Bell and Frank Polite at the University of Iowa, and Sam Eisenstein at Los Angeles City College. His poems are published widely in anthologies and magazines such as New Letter, Onthebus, Blueline, Hanging Loose, Pinyon, Eclipse, Paper Street, Lummox, Rattle, Rhino and Main Street Rag. His book of poetry, Hard Landing, (Lummox Press, 2010), is a lyrical tribute to the mystical “wren,” a character with characteristics not unlike the human spirit.

Purchase HARD LANDING from Lummox Press or at

Listen to Rick Smith read “Little King” from the collection at youtube.


“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”


Illustration: “Sky and Water I” (1938), Woodcut by M.C. Escher

Note: I woke up thinking about this Escher illustration today and just had to find a way to include it. I often see Escher images when I have a migraine coming on — and hope that’s not the case today!