John FitzGerald

Flying Lessons

Too high except for birds to reach,

I act like a tune in attempts to confuse them.

Problems look smaller, amid the leaves.

I might give up this madness to spite me.


Pay no attention, little birds,

I’m just another whistle among singers.

No need to poke out my eyes and devour my seed.

I’ll not consider your parts, as if quartered.


I still see myself in you, flying.

Calls don’t sound blue from up here, so much.

Such wingspans are common in my mind,

lines and spaces leave quite a lot to get away with.


I’d just as soon revere the nest in all its emptiness,

than peer through a window into some dark hope,

and have myself known as wind’s dreamer.

For in life, we stay wild when we can’t believe.


There’s so much more I’d like to conceal –

how I harden like ice, just to melt and flow free,

and feel sorry for this primitive truth.

God, give it to me! And oh yes, God, I am falling.


By two I’m expecting to end the night hammered.

I already hate tomorrow, until dark again.

I just keep going back to, damn, where I love it,

where there’s one thought to go till the hand meets the head.




“Flying Lessons” is from Telling Time by the Shadows (Turning Point, 2008).