High Flight - Spoofs of a Famous Aviation Poem
Dedicated to all Helicopter pilots
Oh, I've slipped the surly bonds of earth
And hovered out of ground effect on semi-rigid blades;
Earthward I've auto'ed and met the rising brush of
And done a thousand things you would never care to
Skidded and dropped and flared
Low in the heat-soaked roar.
Confined there, I've chased the earthbound traffic
And lost the race to insignificant headwinds;
Forward and up a little in ground effect
I've topped the General's hedge with drooping turns
Where never Skyhawk or even Phantom flew.
Shaking and pulling collective, I've lumbered
The low untrespassed halls of victor airways,
Put out my hand and touched a tree.
(Or an act of passing through the air by the use of wings at a conspicuous distance above the ground)
- by John Gillespie Magee Jr., Translated into the vernacular (FAA-speak) by David L. Morris
Oh, I have freed myself from the menacing bonds of the third planet from the luminous celestial body around which the earth and other planets revolve,
And performed a rhythmic and patterned succession of movements on the skies on airfoils covered with a mirthful, white, sonorous, ductile metallic element.
Toward the luminous celestial body around which the earth and other planets revolve I've climbed and joined the tumbling mirth,
Of sun-bifurcated visible masses of particles of water or ice suspended at a considerable height in the air and done a hundred things
You've not had thoughts, images, or emotions of during sleep
Wheeled and sailed or hovered in the air without engine power or loss of altitude
High in the absence of sound or noise lit by the luminous celestial body around which the earth and other planets revolve
Remaining suspended over a place or object, I've chased the wind uttering a sudden loud cry and flung my enthusiastic aircraft
Through corridors or passages of a mixture of invisible, odorless, and tasteless gasses that surround the earth, marked by an absence of feet
Up, up, the long, mentally disturbed, portion of the color spectrum lying between green and violet that is undergoing combustion
I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never singing bird of family Alaudidae or even large diurnal bird of prey of the accipiter family flew
And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out the terminal part of my vertebrate forelimb used as a grasping organ and brought it bodily in contact with, especially so as to perceive through the tactile sense, the front part of the head including the chin, mouth, nose, cheeks, eyes, and forehead of the Supreme or Ultimate reality whom men worship as creator and ruler of the universe.
Translation into Technoblurbage (C)Copyright 1997 Dave Morris
Permission granted to reprint in its entirety, crediting author and translator