Flying Blind – Nighttime Airlines

Twenty six thousand feet, or is it twenty seven thousand

I’ve lost track, but it really doesn’t matter anymore

Window seat in row seventeen, crowded flight, late at night

Seatbelt fastened, back straight, eyes surveying

Tray table in the upright and locked position

Cabin lights dimmed, except the seat belt sign

And the blue glow of the Wi-Fi indicator and no smoking

Surrounded by the weary soldiers of the long haul

Sleeping giants of industry lounge in first class

Up and comers sit further back, awaiting their turn

Silver leads to Gold and then Platinum and Diamond

Adding up the miles, the segments, and the airports

Departure gate warned the flight would be late

Another hotel forecasted on my horizon

Maybe the jet stream will give a little lean

The hours passing slowly steal awakened energy

Heads nod, bob, and slowly come to rest

Comfort is a foregone conclusion, sleep fitful, but something

And yet unconsciousness is the obvious escape from the night

Novels with folded pages and their characters are forced to wait

Spreadsheets, presentations, and charts become fuzzy

Tired eyes, heavy with the day’s baggage give up the fight

Nighttime airlines, the nondescript brand on any given day

The line of portals that masquerade as windows present ideas

More like raising questions or creating imagination fuel

Watching without expectations, only to pass more time

Darkness slips by in a constant current with nary a break

Atmospheric clouds and their unevenness the only variation

Stars, if the night is right, offer tiny reminders of the daylight

But not tonight, for the ghosts of winter have filled the void

Down below, where the lucky ones are resting in soft comfort

Snowflakes swirl and dance in the competing gusts

Unseen in the high clouds, yet waiting patiently for touchdown

Accumulating another obstacle between here and there

Boredom and roaming eyes cast upon the crowd of solitude

Watching the watcher is often someone very small

Long hours have passed since their scheduled time of rest

Instead their clocks are still ticking and they scan and scan

Mothers keeping watch whilst battling the fatigue of the day

Engines drone loudly enough to remind us of our plight

Racing at the speed of business, or family, or life

Stuck here together on this endless nighttime flight

Why we choose this life I really cannot say

Flying at night, working each day, earning our pay

 

R J Schwartz

I write about everything and sometimes nothing at all.I'm fascinated by old things, rusty things, abandoned places, or anywhere that a secret might be unearthed.I'm passionate about history and many of my pieces are anchored in one concept of time or another.I've always been a writer, dating back to my youth, but the last decade has been a time of growth for me.I'm continually pushing the limitations of vocabulary, syntax, and descriptive phrasing.
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R J Schwartz

I write about everything and sometimes nothing at all. I'm fascinated by old things, rusty things, abandoned places, or anywhere that a secret might be unearthed. I'm passionate about history and many of my pieces are anchored in one concept of time or another. I've always been a writer, dating back to my youth, but the last decade has been a time of growth for me. I'm continually pushing the limitations of vocabulary, syntax, and descriptive phrasing.

9 thoughts on “Flying Blind – Nighttime Airlines

  • January 10, 2017 at 9:58 PM
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    Nicely rendered Ralph, I’m not a fan of flying but interstate is OK; in fact I’m on one next week. Its the long haul international flights that are killer. 15 hours is the longest stretch I’ve experienced, as I try to make stop overs to break it up. Absolutely horrid, as I just can’t sleep sitting up and can’t afford 1st class. There’s nothing romantic about flying, just another bus with wings. A great post as to the reality of flying. Cheers!

    Reply
  • January 10, 2017 at 10:42 PM
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    Very vivid descriptions, Ralph. I sensed the feeling of being in the plane, the cool air pumping in, sound of the engines, it is all there and you did it well. I used to fly a lot and miss it. Very enjoyable read. Great work.

    Reply
  • January 11, 2017 at 12:06 PM
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    So vividly written Ralph..when we travel home to India, the flight takes almost 16 hours with one transit stop..With a little daughter, the journeys are nightmares..I do think of people who have to spend a good part of their time in planes, for work or business and I wonder how they keep sane..I really enjoyed reading your very descriptive write..Thank you so much for sharing..

    Reply
  • January 11, 2017 at 2:26 PM
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    I was actually on a plane when I wrote this piece – flying home after an 18 hour work day but too wired to be able to sleep.

    Reply
  • January 12, 2017 at 6:29 AM
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    Brings back memories of flights to my home country. It must have been a tedious journey but still you penned this vividly expressive poem. Great write.

    Reply
  • January 12, 2017 at 8:55 AM
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    This was almost perfect. I am not a good flyer but when I do it usually starts in the nighttime and ends at the dawn of daybreak. The descriptions for each type of flyer was fantastic, from the businessman to the tired mom trying to keep their kids quiet and seated. Nice work Ralph.~Paul

    Reply
  • January 12, 2017 at 12:56 PM
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    I spend many hours on planes for my day job and find myself always observing people and their dynamics on the flights

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  • January 13, 2017 at 9:55 PM
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    Hmm, I did read and comment on this earlier but I must not have hit “post comment.” Good free form poem. I hate flying but do a 4 1/2 hour flight to visit my youngest so about every second year. I guess it gets easier the more you do it, especially if your job requires it.

    Reply

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