Category Archives: Airports

Air Port

I arrived at the Halifax airport two and a half hours before my departure time for Toronto; but as you can see below, have had no problem figuring out how to pass the time:

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Air Port

I must recharge my Apple.  I must post my blog.
Finding a place to do so was like rolling off a log,
but connecting to the wifi was by no means easy.
After five attempts I was feeling flushed and queasy.
Two hours before my flight would leave. I had the time to do it.
If only my computer had the wifi to imbue it!

The man who said he’d help threw up his hands and walked away.
“Oh, a Mac!!” was all that it seems he had to say
when two more tries and shutting off my Mac had no effect.
Yet still I do not rue the day I joined the Apple sect.
Their air ports may be iffy but they’ve other saving graces.
Somehow my mind just clicks with how they put me through my paces.

Once more I clicked “restart” and crossed my fingers and one eye.
Such rituals are Mac-like and might just serve to buy
admission to the Internet, along with one small oath
without which often my Mac Air, I must admit, is loath
to do what I direct it to. It has a stubborn bent.
But somehow sometimes it complies when I choose to vent.

Getting through security was navigated with ease.
And getting to my gate, again, was really quite a breeze.
But though I finally got online.  (I’m talking to you now.)
Please do not inquire about precisely how.
Macs are a fraternity with secrets we can’t tell;
but if you are an owner, I’m sure you know them well!!!

The prompt word today was “Recharge.”Thanks, WordPress, for once again fitting the prompt right into my life experience.

Open Letter to the Airline Mucky-Mucks

Glamour Travel

My carry-on’s too heavy to lift above my seat;
so I had to put it under, now there’s no room for my feet.
I request some water (though I’ve been twice rebuffed,)
to take an antihistamine, for my eyes are puffed
from the perfume of my seatmate, which also made me cough.
So I’m already hurting long before lift off.
I’ve squeeze marks from the narrow seats, I’m shivering from the draft,
and when this ride is over, I must board another craft!

Two hours later, two states up, I face another battle
trying to find a decent airport meal here in Seattle.
On my muffuletta sandwich (priced $15.93),
I look in vain for olives, which there don’t seem to be.
My Tim’s potato chips are stale, the sodas are all flat.
The Wifi that they advertise does not know where I’m at.
Air travel’s an adventure but not the one I sought.
I forget this lesson once again, refusing to be taught.

One hour left ‘til I lift off to wing my way on east,
I buy a drink and steel myself to board the winged beast.
I hope this time my seatmate fits in her own seat
so I don’t have to deal again with the impossible feat
of leaning out into the aisle, avoiding every ass
of passengers and stewards that brush me as they pass.
I bitch, I whine, I grouse, I cry, complain and moan and sigh.
‘Til by now I’m sure you wonder why I even fly.

I must admit I’ve asked myself the same as I’ve been talking.
The only reason I have found is that it sure beats walking.

(Written in the Seattle Airport, enroute to Billings, Montana–then on to Sheridan, Wyoming by car, chauffeured by Patti and accompanied by Patty.  Yes, I have a plethora of P’s in my life.)

The Prompt: Singular Sensation– if you could have a guarantee that one, specific person was reading your blog, who would you want that person to be? Why? What do you want to say to them?

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/singular-sensation-2/

Beachside Refractions and Other Poems

 

(Click on photos to enlarge)

 

Here are three poems that I wrote while being held prisoner on my porch for two days waiting for the internet man.  He came after a half dozen phone calls and a half dozen promises to be there in 1/2 hour, but never did get my internet up, so I’m sitting in a closed palapa restaurant in the dark, listening to the surf and using their internet, which I’ve paid them to use.  I actually had a wonderful day spent watching the pelicans, fishermen and frigate birds, then went way out and did my exercises in the ocean, watching the sunset.   There were fishermen and little boys on boogie boards all around me…and a young girl standing on a paddle board and paddling back and forth between me and the sunset.

Beachside Refractions

When I wake up at six that man
is out collecting bait.
And he is still out fishing
when the sun goes down at eight.

I guess that staring at water
and at the sky is fun,
for in the week I’ve been here,
he’s only landed one!

The tide comes in each morning,
bringing us new gifts;
transforming everything to sand
it sifts and sifts and sifts.

The frigate birds sail over all:
the headland and the town.
I don’t know what they’re looking for.
They never venture down.

A string of pelicans fly north.
Seconds later, they fly south.
guess the reason is not one
has fish within its mouth.

The beach cat sits here looking
out to the open sea,
willing all the fisherman
to “Bring a fish to me!”

The tide comes within feet of me
when it is at its height.
Tucked away here, in the shade,
I do not feel its bite.

When tide goes out, I go with it
to float beyond its curl.
It does not know if I am fish
or shell or boat or girl.

All the local folks collect
each evening at the beach.
Sand within their sandals,
and tequila within reach.

They talk the long day over
and orchestrate the sun
to sink beneath the seascape
to prove the day is done.

They come to view the sunset,
though they talk into the night.
It cannot be the sun they seek,
for it’s gone out of sight.

When most go home still one or two
stay to feel the night.
Their voices drift over the sand
sibilant and slight.

Whispers, merely whispers
by the time they get to me.
Unconnected syllables
for which I have no key.

The moon has not yet risen
and the stars are hidden by cloud.
And all the words that wait for me
are not yet voiced aloud.

All around me, darkest night
surrounds me like a womb.
I think words wait for me in dreams
just in the other room.

……..

Pelicans

They float upon the gentle swells,
with chins tucked in politely.
Of all the birds, most dignified,
their movements never sprightly.

They look like grumpy butlers
named Oliver or Jeeves
in morning coats of softest gray
with wings tucked in their sleeves.

They may be only scouting
the source of their next meal,
for soon they take off to the air
with energy and zeal.

And soon they’re diving down again,
straight like an arrow shot,
into the water’s surface
to see what can be caught.

Bobbing once again,
they lift their bills and then let slide
all that’s in their pouches
to another place inside.

I wonder if the fishes flop
all the long way down,
and this is why the pelicans
then fold their arms and frown?

………………..

The Magnificent Frigate Bird

They polonaise up higher,
far above the rest.
Not once dipping to the land.
Do they ever nest?

I never see them fishing,
foraging or chewing.
As though their wings are made for art
but are not made for doing.

A gentle crease within their wings
looks folded and unfolded,
but keeps its shape no matter what,
as though it has been molded.

This rhyme is not so fragile
nor so graceful as these birds.
I guess such elegance as theirs
cannot be caught in words.

The Prompt: Leftovers Sandwich—Today, publish a post based on unused material from a previous piece –a paragraph you nixed, a link you didn’t include, a photo you decided not to use. Let your leftovers shine!  https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/leftovers-sandwich/

Hard Transit

Hard Transit

My grandfather and his two teenaged daughters
drove a wagon to Dakota to claim a homestead.
I never asked how many weeks they traveled, or the hardships that they faced.
The young don’t know what answers they will wish for when it’s too late;
so only imagination serves to describe the heat,
day after day with no water except for what they carried,
coyotes, gray wolves and the glaring sun of the treeless prairie.
My aunts were just young girls dealing with the difficulties young girls face
in the sparsest of conditions. No mother. No water.
The jarring ride—grasshoppers so thick the wagons skidded off the tracks,
and that loneliness of riding into
the emptiness of a strange world.

Now, I stand impatiently at the immigration window,
then the ticket line and the security line.
I empty pockets, discard water bottle,
remove computers from their cases, take off shoes,
raise my arms for the check,
struggle up the escalator with bag and purse,
find the right gate,
negotiate the walkway to the plane,
lift the heavy carry-on and lower myself into the too-small seat.
“Plane travel isn’t what it used to be,” my neighbor says,
and we console each other about how hard it is.
“Nine hours from Guadalajara to St. Louis—
a plane change and a three-hour layover in Atlanta,”
I grumble, and he sympathizes.

The Prompt: In Transit—Train stations, airport terminals, subway stops: soulless spaces full of distracted, stressed zombies, or magical sets for fleeting, interlocking human stories?

Leftovers


Leftovers

When my father died forty years ago, it was in Arizona, where my parents had been spending their winters for the past ten years.  They maintained houses in two places, returning to South Dakota for the summers. But after my father died, my mother never again entered that house in the town where I’d grown up.

Our family had scattered like fall leaves by then—my mother to Arizona, one sister to Iowa, another to Wyoming. Both the youngest and the only unmarried one, I had fallen the furthest from the family tree. I had just returned from Africa, and so it fell to me to drive to South Dakota to pack up the house and to decide which pieces of our old life I might choose to build my new life upon and to dispose of the rest.

My father’s accumulations were not ones to fill a house. There were whole barns and fields of him, but none that needed to be dealt with. All had been sold before and so what was to be sorted out was the house. In that house, the drapes and furniture and cushions and cupboards were mainly the remnants of my mother’s life: clothes and nicknacks, pots and pans, spice racks full of those limited flavors known to the family of my youth—salt and pepper and spices necessary for recipes no more exotic than pumpkin pies, sage dressings and beef stews.

Packing up my father was as easy as putting the few work clothes he’d left in South Dakota into boxes and driving them to the dump. It had been years since I had had the pleasure of throwing laden paper bags from the dirt road above over the heaps of garbage below to see how far down they would sail, but I resisted that impulse this one last run to the dump, instead placing the bags full of my father’s work clothes neatly at the top for scavengers to find—the Sioux, or the large families for whom the small-town dump was an open-air Goodwill Store.

It was ten years after my father’s death before my mother ever returned again to South Dakota. By then, that house, rented out for years, had blown away in a tornado. Only the basement, bulldozed over and filled with dirt, contained the leftovers of our lives: the dolls, books, school papers and trophies. I’d left those private things stacked away on shelves—things too valuable to throw away, yet not valuable enough to carry away to our new lives. I’ve been told that people from the town scavenged there, my friend from high school taking my books for her own children, my mother’s friend destroying the private papers. My brother-in-law had taken the safe away years before.

But last year, when I went to clear out my oldest sister’s attic in Minnesota, I found the dolls I thought had been buried long ago–their hair tangled and their dresses torn—as though they had been played with by generations of little girls. Not the neat perfection of how we’d kept them ourselves, lined up on the headboard bookcases of our beds —but hair braided, cheeks streaked with rouge, eyes loose in their sockets, dresses mismatched and torn. Cisette’s bride dress stetched to fit over Jan’s curves. My sister’s doll’s bridesmaid dress on my doll.

It felt a blasphemy to me. First, that my oldest sister would take her younger sisters’ dolls without telling us. Her own dolls neatly preserved on shelves in her attic guest bedroom, ours had been jammed into boxes with their legs sticking out the top. And in her garbage can were the metal sides of my childhood dollhouse, imprinted with curtains and rugs and windows, pried apart like a perfect symbol of my childhood.

Being cast aside as leftovers twice is enough for even inanimate objects. Saved from my sister’s garbage and cut in half, the walls of my childhood fit exactly into an extra suitcase borrowed from a friend for the long trip back to Mexico, where I now live. I’ll figure out a new life for them as room décor or the backgrounds of colossal collages that will include the dolls I’m also taking back with me.

Mexico is the place where lots of us have come to reclaim ourselves and live again. So it is with objects, too. Leftovers and hand-me-downs have a value beyond their price tags. It is all those lives and memories that have soaked up into them. In a way, we are all hand-me-downs. It’s up to us to decide our value, depending upon the meaning that we choose to impart both to our new lives and these old objects. Leftovers make the most delicious meals, sometimes, and in Mexico, we know just how to spice them up.

The prompt: Hand-Me-Downs—Clothes and toys, recipes and jokes, advice and prejudice: we all have to handle all sorts of hand-me-downs every day. Tell us about some of the meaningful hand-me-downs in your life.


 

 

Reading

This post has been removed as a stipulation for submitting it in a poetry contest.

The Prompt: Middle Seat—It turns out that your neighbor on the plane/bus/train (or the person sitting at the next table at the coffee shop) is a very, very chatty tourist. Do you try to switch seats, go for a non-committal brief small talk, or make this person your new best friend?

 

Daily Post: “Lined-up Blues”

 

“Lined Up Blues”

(to be sung to the tune of “Jingle Bells”)

Dashing through the flow,
barefooted as I go,
I stand and pine
in the security line,
emptying pockets way too slow.

Put my laptop in a bin
and my 3 oz. bottles in
a little bag,
but I can’t lag
‘case my purse and all my dough

has preceded me through the screen
and the TSA’s look mean.
I’m afraid that lady
who looks so shady
will take my purse and go.

(refrain;)

Oooooh, airport lines,
security whines,
waiting all the day.

I’ll flunk my scan
and the X-ray man
will frisk me all the wa-ay.

Airport blues,
got no shoes,
some man just took my rings.

I’ll lose my seat,
get athlete’s feet,
but lose my other things.

I guess it is the norm
my privacy to storm,
to strip me down
and frown and frown
as they survey my form.

I just spent all my dough
to come from Mexico
to see my kin
and then drop in
to see my favorite beau.

But first I’ll have to ride,
a center seat to abide
and airplane woes
like too-small rows
with no space left inside.

(refrain)

Ohhhhh, Airport blues,
travel dues,
no time to complain.

I grab my stuff
half in the buff
and run to catch my pla-ane.

Airport lines,
security whines,
I fear I’ll rue the day.

‘cause I have to face
this same disgrace
when I reach the U.S.A.!!!!

 

The Prompt: You’re at the airport, your flight is delayed for six more hours, and none of your electronic devices is working. How do you pass the time?

Blogger’s note:  Actually, I wrote a less tongue-in-cheek piece about this topic a few weeks ago. Here’s a link to that blog post: The Atlanta Airport