It happened on one of those crazy roads

that snake up the Hollywood Hills

where James Dean had his knife fight

at the Griffith Observatory

We parked at a scenic overlook

to watch the sun dive into the ocean

like a perfect hillside pool

& this tanned body builder in a tank top

had a Styrofoam airplane

with wings about this wide

He launched it up into a vortex only he could feel

& the space fell away

as it rose above the valley

then somehow looped back

He must have plotted

its course to perfection

for it curved home on invisible currents

& he snatched it effortlessly

That would have been enough

but as we moved in to admire his craft

he slid back the transparent canopy

& showed us the pilot:

a tiny white mouse with pink claws & red eyes

& all the way to the bottom

down the steep & deadly roads

that skim the edges

of those crazy hills

I wondered about that mouse

What was the flight for him?

Sheer terror

or sweet transcendence?

Or something only small things can grasp

when they are loved & kept & freed

by crazy gods

& flung into the sky


8 Responses

  1. Way to go, Mr. O.

    A well-wrought tale, with a surprise (mouse in cockpit) followed by humane, humanitarian musing…

  2. This is brilliant, Patrick.

  3. I could see it all so clearly in my mind’s eye… Thank you, Patrick, as always. Perhaps the mouse was the master aviator and the body builder but his slave and aero-mechanic…

  4. Nice Padraig. I am the mouse.

  5. Thx, all.


  6. Five squeaks for this poem, Patrick! It made my fur stand on end.


  7. Very nice poem, Patrick. The language and rhythms are graceful and unforced, and the sentiment effectively earned. Good stuff!

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