My Imaginary Flying Machine

My imaginary flying machine
lifts me just high enough
to clear the garden fence
and carries me silently
through the darkness.
I control by telepathy
the invisible engine:
I tell it to follow
the line of the streetlights
along the empty streets
that lead out of town.
Once over the fields
I steer by the stars
until I hear but can’t see
the water flowing over the stones
of a stream-bed.

This I follow,
plunging with the waterfall,
leveling out
as the stream joins the river,
startling an owl
from its tree on the river-bank.

Sweeping under the arch
of a bridge, where all is invisible
and where the water
echoes for a moment, I emerge:
and here the river widens, merges
into the dark mass
of the sea and I turn
up into the sky,
banking to follow
the curve of Draco’s tail
as it weaves between the Bears.



Draco and Ursa Minor from Urania’s Mirror, a set of constellation cards by Sidney Hall, published in London c.1825


Poem copyright (c) Sackerson, 2018

The image is in the public domain.


14 thoughts on “My Imaginary Flying Machine

  1. Love the poem and the card. I am with you down the Swale and into the Humber Estuary whether that is where your poem goes or not.

  2. Magnificent, Dominic! I love the poem, and I relate to the desire to defy gravity, leave the conventional of culture, such as it is, and enter the wildness and mystery of nature. We are, indeed, such things as dreams are made of.

  3. Dominic, that’s a wonderful poem with ideal image attached. Happy 2018 and may you fly to your heart’s content wherever the spirit takes you.
    I used to have a recurent dream that I could easily fly, but just a few feet above the ground, merely by moving my feet as one does in the water when swimming. It was so real and tangible that when I woke up I would try that to see if it worked. Alas, I’m still gravity-bound but perhaps the dream meant that it’s not that difficult to ‘leave the ground’.

    1. Thanks for that. I don’t dream about flying but it’s something that I think about now and again. I often think there must be far simpler ways of doing things which our current technologies make heavy weather of, if only we could work out what they were!

  4. Love your words and in a sense they are very real to me.
    Now and again (in dreams), I can fly. I just run a little, lift my legs to the long sitting position, and hey presto, I sail/ fly, defying gravity. I don’t have to do anything to keep up the momentum, I just continue to enjoy this wonderful discovery/ability.
    I guess this comes from what I think is a real memory, although probably false. of when once as a child, I ran with the wind behind me, lifted up my legs, and for a few seconds I defied gravity and sailed/flew on the wind. I wonder if it did really happen…
    I do so hope the New Year is treating you well.
    Anna :o]

    1. It is, thank you. It would be nice to think your memory was real. I rarely dream but quite often imagine flying. If I stand on top of a hill looking over a valley I always find myself wanting to fly to the hilltop on the opposite side.

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