MY TOP TEN POEMS: #6 “FLY AWAY”

I hate the coronavirus and the disease that it causes: COVID-19. My heart goes out to all of those who have contracted the virus and all of those whose lives it has affected. I understand why the government is asking us to stay at home and taking all the measures that it has taken. It’s tough, though, to see society shut down. 

Under these strange circumstances, I’m continuing with my top ten list of poems. Next up is my number six poem: “FLY AWAY”. At its heart, this poem is about the desire to have the ability to fly. In many ways, this is a metaphor for escaping the limitations that life puts on us. Perhaps, something many of us know all too well these days.

Feel free to give the poem a read below, and let me know what you think. If you like it, there are more poems like it in my book of poetry: THE PAST, PRESENT, & FUTURE. It’s currently for sale as a kindle ebook. You can purchase it for $5.99. Here is the link: purchase THE PAST, PRESENT, & FUTURE.

FLY AWAY

I’ve always wanted to fly.
As long as I can remember,
I’ve done it in my dreams.

Often it would begin in the yard.
First, I would float up
then I would sit in a great big tree.

Soon, though, I had to see
just how high this power could take me;
so away I would fly.

Before I could touch the sky, though,
it always would happen.
I’d look down and see how far I had come.

Below, the world would look so small and far away.
Then my spirits would sink
and fear would creep in; I’d have to go back.

I’ve always wanted to fly.
As long as I can remember,
I’ve done it in my dreams.

 

astronomy clouds dusk hands

Poetry Influence No. 1: “Traveling Through The Dark”

        Undoubtedly one of Oregon’s most famous poets, William Stafford is one of my favorite poets and I have selected his poem “Traveling Through the Dark” as my number one poetic influence.  Stafford has a style similar to Robert Frost in that it has been described as deceptively simple.  Similar to Frost, Stafford’s poems reveal a distinctive and complex vision upon closer examination.

        I’ve tried to follow the example of Stafford and Frost as much as possible with my poetry.  I believe my best examples of this style are my poems “The Cool Morning Air” and “Fly Away.”  Stafford’s poem “Traveling Through the Dark” deals with nature, death, sadness, and making tough decisions.  My favorite lines come at the end of the poem:

“I thought hard for us all—my only swerving—,
then pushed her over the edge into the river.”

        Two wonderfully simple, yet complex lines of poetry.  I couldn’t have written them better myself.  Just like the entire poem, these lines tell a story in and of themselves.  Below, I have included a YouTube video that is an excellent rendition of “Traveling Through the Dark.”

Fly Away

I’ve always wanted to fly.
As long as I can remember,
I’ve done it in my dreams.

Often it would begin in the backyard.
First I would float up,
Then I would sit in a great big pine tree.

Eventually, though, I would have to see,
Just how high the power could take me.
So, away I would fly.

Before I could touch the sky, though,
It always would happen.
I’d look down and see how far I had come.

Below, the world would look so small and distant.
Then my spirits would sink,
And fear would creep in, and I’d have to go back.

I’ve always wanted to fly.
As long as I can remember,
I’ve done it in my dreams.

by Cody McCullough