Women Pilots Write Poetry


Blue, Syd

Why Fly?

by Syd Blue

Let me tell you why I cheerlead for flying.

When I’m up in the sky, I see wide open.

Nearly boundless freedom, vertically and on the horizon.

Shapeless infinity, undefined, a clean slate filling my imagination with the possibilities of the unknown.

So many hues of blue. I can’t begin to name all the colors.

And then, there’s the world below. It’s never looked so clear.

Peeking down at houses, hustling roads, busy people, living together on one big globe.

The wind itself becomes a playmate. I wrestle. I kick against.

A gust on landing when I am slow and easy? I’ll kick back. I’ll bite.

I’ll make it the right way again.

I play in the thermals like a bird, letting the air mass have its way with me.

The wind under and over my wings pushing me around.

I go with the flow or I fight against. Pushing the prop to win.

The sky is my home.

Every price I paid to get here was worth it.

It’s amazing to be here. The journey to reach it was mind-blowing fun and even sometimes excruciatingly hard.

The challenge makes it fun.

Overpowering fears to be set free into the land of infinite possibilities – the sky.

This is why I fly.

Booker, Elizabeth


Night Rescue

(Tarantella Re-write)

Can you pre-flight the plane


C4an you pre-flight the plane?

And the priming and the timing

Of the fuel for the engine

For the flight that’s right in the middle of the night

And the sleep we missed in the spar

And the herc and the jerk of the hoist at work

Into the dark of the murky marine layer?

Can you pre-flight the plane


Can you pre-flight the plane?

And the herc and the jerk of the hoist at work

That lowered down the basket

As the flight mechanic tasked it

And the sea spray and the wind in the cabin?

And the whip, whop, whip

Of the trip

Of the rotors that spin and the grin

Of the swimmer gone racing



Stroking and groping

Grabbing the sailor by the chin

Up and spin

And the clap, flap, slap to swim so far

Can you pre-flight the plane


Can you pre-flight the plane?

Close the door,


Close the door.

The basket’s on the floor:

And the swimmer works on the sailor’s gore

So wound

From the fear of the near death that sneers

The threat

Of the dark of the deep all around

So wound:

No time to swoon

We’ll get this man to hospital soon.



Learning to Hover

The instructor threw up his hands

He said you have control

I grabbed the cyclic and collective

And tried hard not to roll

But this was work, a tug a jerk

A full on helmet fire

Could I succeed at this great deed?

To hover this big gyre?

My toes they danced upon the deck

To stop the copter’s yaw

Then like a pendulum we rocked

That’s when I barely saw

Brown sludgy sparkly spittle juice

Slosh inside his bottle

As my instructor took control

Then adjusted throttle

He took a breath and flicked a wrist

All I could do was stare

As he quickly and so smoothly

Fixed the bird mid-air

Many years and hundreds of hours

Have passed since I first tried

But now with skill and precision

A helo I do fly

Catlin, Pam

My Second Home

London, Paris, Brussels, Rome,

I can’t remember when I left home.

I climb in the flight deck to leave earth behind,

Always hoping the panel instruments align.

The seat, the yoke, the throttles call to me,

Feeling the power on the takeoff sets me free.

Climbing, climbing to level – off.

It feels so good to be aloft.

The drone of the turbine engines continues for hours,

Sometimes I just want to see the control tower

A sundog, a sunset, a sunrise, too.

It’s truly a stunning view.

I see the stars, a comet, the Milky Way,

The sky puts on a stunning display.

Descending, Descending, the airport is in sight.

I’m ready to land in the morning light.

The huge tires smooch the pavement,

I taxi to the gate with content.

Whenever, wherever I decide to roam,

The flight deck is my second home!

Cosand, Kathleen

Up around the heavens we soar

A beautiful life, never a bore.

Seeing sights from heights above,

My life is something I truly love.

Even though they told me no,

I fought and won and made it so.

Sunward I’ve climbed and seen so much

It did not matter that it was tough.

I have missed hugs and first time steps

but others have done the same.

They ones I have are just as sweet,

A part of playing the game.

My children and spouse and have shared my dreams,

It really is worth the while it seems.

My wish for all is do what is best

To work hard and go after your quest.

You only get one chance at this.

Go for it all, you will not miss!

Gilbert, Gulcin 


I hold my flashlight against the darkness and walk around this big beautiful 777-300ER, inspecting every surface, every tire, every port, engine and gear.

Above us is a mystical night sky, scarcely lit by a new moon which would bid goodnight before we launched.

This plane, is a feat of engineering

This plane is one of the better feats of man

I shine my light on every part of its silver body,

It takes me over 910 steps to walk around it.

This plane is wide.

It has two aisles and seats 10 passengers across.

This plane has a wing span of 213’.

This 777 is long.

Inside, I can barely see the end.

This plane is 242 feet long.

This plane is longer than a 17 story building.

Longer than a 17 story building peaking its head above the fog of an LA dawn.

This plane is heavy.

This plane weighs 777,000 lbs as it speeds under the midnight sun of the North Pole.

This bird holds 345 souls.

How a plane this big and this heavy gets off the ground still amazes me,

even though I’ve been flying for 44 years.

What makes a plane fly?


Bernoulli’s Theory?

Lift over drag?

Newton’s theory?

Equal and opposite reactions?

Einstein’s Relativity?

(I’m 5 seconds younger when we land in Hong Kong?)

Is it skill and training? Is it computers? Is it money?

Or do little lift gnomes create lift?

From the little wings to the big ones,

The theories are the same, even the planes

that are as long as buildings. But it still amazes.

It still amazes that something so big and heavy,

So filled with different people,

So filled with all their different lives,

So filled with their emotions – their hopes, their dreams,

their worries, their grief, their hurts, their loves

and sometimes even their joys and their smiles, all at the same time.

So filled, so heavy, so long and yet somehow, this beast lifts, all of these emotions,
all at the same time.

I know what really makes it fly. It’s magic and magic’s power strengthens in the eve.

This flying dragon leaves earth’s boundaries.

It flies towards the edges of a blackening sky.

It soars, it glides, it climbs higher than the highest of mountains.

It ducks under, around and over the darkest clouds.

It loves the night sky, immersed in dancing northern lights,

showered by the remnants of Perseid stars

as it speeds towards the tricky moon.

With all the smiles and tears tucked safely in its belly,

This beast speeds through the dark velvet night that

soon enough becomes the liquid blue dusk.

And just a little bit later, she meets the dawn as she glides in descent,

then flares and rolls out proudly on the freshly dewed tarmac of a foreign soil.

And all the lovely people now find that they are someplace else.

A new place with new mountains, new oceans,

With new tastes, new smells, new sounds and new people.

Different people, who may have a different language, a different way of living,

a different way of worshiping. A different way of eating, a different way of singing.

With different skin color and different hair and different eyes.

Different, differences, small and large, yet somehow the same.

The same in the ways that matter.

The same joy of families, of friendships.

The same problems, the same hurts and the same loves.

The same lovers looking up at the same moon and the same stars.

This big silver dragon unites them all.

Innes, Betty


The earth and all its troubles left,

all the things that souls destroy,

now heaven bound oh heaven bound,

with pure and soaring joy.

Then like an eagle wings outspread,

to look upon the earth below,

where all about is light and air,

no greater freedom can one know.

I try to keep my thoughts quite sane,

for no immortal angel I,

but must depend on mere machine,

that I may thusly fly.

But oh, sometimes then, just a dawn,

before the mind is disciplined,

when the air is sweet as wine,

I play I love you with the wind.

And when at last I come to light,

reluctantly upon the ground,

through all the day and half the night,

my hearts still soaring, heaven bound.

Jeffries, Kelly

Two Pilots, One Plane

It’s not always easy but it can be fun, when you got two pilots but the airplane is one.

We started our adventure October ’03 with several crates of airplane parts, all for me.

Well not really for me before you can panic, it was built for me, I sleep with my mechanic.

In my head I repeat this simple refrain, we’re going to have a really sweet plane.

My part in the process was simple or so I thought, clean the house, feed the wrench turner and fly the plane I bought.

But I was mistaken from day number one, and the problem all started with that silly intercom.

See we live in an airpark and the hangar is right there, it’s great for building an airplane to share.

In my head I repeat this simple refrain, my husband really is building us a plane.

So we have an intercom to call from hangar and back, so simple and cheap, damn you Radio Shack!

For providing the means for hubby to say, hurry up, get over here, I need you right away!

In my head I repeat this simple refrain, when this is all over, I’ll have a new plane.

He’s wedged in the tail with his butt in the air, get me the thing, the THING, it’s right over there!

Which thing is the thing I say with a shout, how in the hell am I supposed to figure this out?

The RED AND BLACK HANDLED THING you should know how I think, couldn’t build this without it, don’t be such a dink.

In my head I repeat this simple refrain, when this is all over, I’ll have a new plane.

Hold the bucking bar, the level, the engine, the wing, I guess I’m good for holding nearly everything.

In his defense, he’s a type A, a stereotypical model, which means that in building, he sure didn’t dawdle.

So on a sleety winters day, March of 2005, the FAA man and the Special Airworthiness Certificate did arrive.

In my head I repeat this simple refrain, now inspection is over, I’ve got a new plane.

Hubby is repairman and test pilot too; fly off 40 hours and test phase is through.

When the test flying is finally over and done; let’s get in the plane and head for Sun-n- Fun.

In my head I repeat this simple refrain, test flying is over, let me fly my new plane. Now is my chance to say with a swagger; I’m one of those Ladies that flies a Taildragger.

But my tailwheel time is actually kinda thin; do I really know what I’m getting in?

In my head I repeat this simple refrain, whatever you do, don’t f ** up this plane! Well with that all behind me it’s time to head out, ‘cuz flying places is what Fifi’s all about.

Now hold on a second, with takeoff time at hand; here’s two headstrong flyers, who’s pilot-in-command?

In my head I repeat this simple refrain; perhaps we should have built a second airplane.

We’ll do it like the airlines, as we do everyday; switch flying each leg is the easiest way. Now many of you know that’s easier said than done; when aforementioned spouse is Type A number one.

So we found out from the start through trial and error; that letting him fly, causes him much less terror.

But before you think our flying together is grim, it’s not; but you have to know the partner you’ve got.

It’s give and take in flying and in life; if you really stand a chance as husband and wife. In my head I repeat this simple refrain, I flew here alone in my pretty airplane.

McCallister, Terry


Fly west with the wind my friend

Chase the never setting sun

I hope you have the wind beneath your wings

On a flight that’s never done

May you always see beneath you

A welcoming place to land

But your gypsy soul will call again

To see this world so grand

I can see St. Elmo’s Fire

Across the nose tonight

It bathes us in its ghostly glow

And spidery strands of light

The power of the raging storm

Mother Nature always wins

Never test her too closely

She will make you pay for all your sins

The orb of rising summer sun

The winter pale of moon

Today I cross vast oceans

I hope I’ll be home soon




He has a new boat

And a house on the coast

I have one too

But his cost the most

His children are perfect

And so is his wife

Even his dog is expensive

What a charmed life

He’s talked for hours

All about him, you see

And all through the flight

Not a question about me

But he keeps on talking

I just don’t care

This cockpit is tiny

Must bid “Do not Pair”

So I sit here with him

My new best friend

For the next 4 hours

Will this flight never end



On the Lips of Angels

The twisting winding road ahead

There’s so much I’ve left behind

From the dust that’s settled in my wake

Of the memories in my mind

How far I’ve come from shadows past

From a luminary tale

I only want to do it right this time

From all the times I’ve failed

Can you catch the star, can you catch a ride

Where all is love and all is right

Where the shadows stay safely in their place

And on the lips of angels….

A whisper of a smile

The mistakes you make at this late date

They land you in a kind of jail

From which there is no escape , no road

No one has left you a trail

The gray hair tells the story

Of the life that time has traced

Of the smiles and the tears that softly roll

Down that lovely wrinkled face

Can you catch the star, can you catch a ride

Where all is love and all is right

Where the shadows stay safely in their place

And on the lips of angels….

A whisper of a smile



I am homeless

I am me

Look into my eyes

What do you see

I was somebody once , in another life

But now I’m dirty and I’m cold

I am young

but this life has made me old

A plastic cup in my hand

A piece of cardboard is where I stay

I look up at you with defeated eyes

As you look the other way

So here I sit

On the sidewalk of a city street

They say it’s the city of brotherly love

But I can’t find anything to eat

A few bucks might help

But it really can’t

I don’t know how to become someone else

Which is what I really want

Just look into my eyes

Can you really see

That I am homeless,

But I am me



And Through it All, There is You

I chase the sun

And the ever fading light

I miss you my love

Did you kiss me goodnight

We are oceans apart

It’s you I’m thinking of

And if the world ended

Would I meet you up above

An odd loneliness

In a life such as this

One I chose to do long ago

Because flying is such bliss

I’ll see you soon my dear

Keep the home fires burning

On the other side of night

As the world keeps turning

Mejia Moreno, Maciel

No Importa

No importa si te caes,

No importa si te dicen no puedes,

No importa si te menosprecian por ser mujer,

No importa si te tratan mal por tener un sueño,

No importa si te dicen que no tienes fuerza y eres débil o que tu futuro no tiene frutos ni brillará.

Lo único que importa es que te sepas levantar,

Lo único que importa es saber que tu si puedes,

Lo único que importa es creer que eres mujer poderosa,

Lo único que importa es que tener un sueño te hace grande,

Lo único que importa es saber que eres tan fuerte como la mujer maravilla y que tu futuro brilla.

Miklos, Laureen



blowing a dandelion puff,

spreading god-knows-how-many


As a girl,


was a weekend weeding.

Now there’s no easy remedy.

My neighbor’s eyes are acid,


there is something irresistible

to me

about that ball of fluff,

those mini-parachutes of down

just waiting for a ride.

The wind can take them anywhere.

Petitt, Karlene

Safety Culture                

They speak of Just.

Flexible. Informed.

Learning. Reporting.

All a must.

They speak the words.

They speak of safety.

They speak of truth.

Honesty. Integrity.

The safety line,

drawn in the sand

blows with the wind

at management’s hand.


Boeing 787        

Stunning, beautiful, and graceful,  

wings flexing on every takeoff. 

She is direct and particular, 

procedures done her way, 

ensuring a start of a very good day.

You must do as she wishes,  

In the right sequence, 

set all of her switches. 

A highly intelligent, flying computer, 

when ailing she’ll tell the mechanic why,

eager she is, to get back in the sky.

She is sleek, powerful and fuel efficient, 

compared to her competition,

who could be deemed highly inefficient

The 787 

The princess of the sky 

If you don’t believe it

Just watch her fly!

Powell, Bethoyia

Love Depart from Me

I am so hurt, my heart? It’s broken!

Love departs from me.

I drench my pillow with tears at night.

I am so hurt.

I am so weak my bones are troubled.

My heart, it’s broken.

My heart cries for help

Maybe one day it too will walk away.

Love is beginning to grow old, depart from me,

I hear the voices of my heart weeping, love depart from me.

Pulido, Jaqueline

Ready for takeoff

She fought the good fight, kept faith

See you in heaven 

About the haiku: 

My mom passed on September 17th 2011, I was alone in Mexico and she was in Chicago. She was a big fan of monarchs and admired their bravery. Those days the sky was covered with monarch butterflies because of their southerly migration process. When Linda showed me the book cover, my heart jumped.  I remember taking off and seeing beautiful monarchs in front of my airplane . It made me think about how we all “migrate” too. My mom had moved to heaven, I was heartbroken but I felt God comforting my heart. (My mom hung her wings to watch us grow, she was a flight attendant in love with aviation) 

Ramsey, Suzanne

On Obtaining a Pilot License

When first learning to fly, it quite boggles the mind,

So students… make sure your instructor is kind.

You’ll be taught about forces, lift, weight, thrust and drag,

Torque, slipstream, aileron, glide speed and yaw.

And then there are flaps, trim, stabilator too

Axis, pitch, roll, slots – and slats to boot !

Gyroscopic precession – now, what on earth’s that ?

It’s sure to confuse you, no doubt about that !

Dihedral keeps level – perhaps your mind too ;

Computing air pressures, weight and balance – Ooooo !

And then there’s the engine, carb heat, mixture rich

Magnetos, RPM … Son of a b …. !

Next comes VFR, field condition reports,

Taxi clearance, charts, ELT’s, surface winds, windsocks

Taxi, full power, now the real test begins …

To find if you’re made of the “right stuff”, it seems.

You start straight and level, now that’s not too bad

Climb, descend, overshoot, touch n’ go … land.

Flight for range and endurance, you’d better learn quick

Else you might find you’re ditching before you’re equipped!

Emergency procedures … I wonder what for ?

Forced landings, diversions, engine failures and more …

You then do a series of Circuits, they say …

Take-offs and landings with cross winds some days.

You’ll learn about ground effect, best rate of climb,

Round outs, flares, wheelbarrows … how’d they get in this rhyme ?

Then there’s mention of Solo – you mean I go alone ?

You’re kidding. I’m ready ? Then your mentor is gone …

You soon begin “air work” – but don’t you be fooled

For this is designed to keep you bemused.

You start with slow flight – now that’s not too bad,

Proceed through stalls, sideslips and spiral dives.

The word Spin slips in … quite innocent it seems ;

“No problems, quite simple, you’ll enjoy them”, it’s deemed.

Unaware of what’s pending,  ‘cept what you’ve been told,

Up you go wondering if you’ll live to grow old.

Have you ever been hung by your feet from a rope ?

Then twirled all about with your heart in your throat ?

The ground’s coming up, it’s spinning all ‘round

Not quite ! It’s the opposite … it’s you going down !

Keep your wits about you… Wanna Bet … I’m insane !

Remember – no aileron …. You could get us creamed !

Your instructor just sits there, a smile on his face :

Says “this’s for your exam – and to make you an Ace”

Now, is the worst over ? I can’t tell you yet.

There’s still navigation, that long solo trip …

Track errors, map reading, drift lines … common sense.

A compass to guide you, VOR, ADF.

It’s mentioned you’re ready to take that flight test.

How come I don’t know that ? Well, I’ll do my best.

Your instructor’s persistence as lessons unfold,

Hours of patient repeat … a feat to behold !

He’s shown his faith in you … the written part’s done,

So just trust when he tells you you’ll pass this exam.

For once you’ve your license … the real work begins

For good and safe flying … without any spins!

Shelton, Kathy


I started flying at the “old” age of eighteen

I passed my check ride with flying colors, even though I was still a bit green.

In the beginning, all I could afford was macaroni and cheese

And now many years later, I can eat anything that I please.

I was so excited to receive my private pilot’s license, I wanted to tell the world

I had finally spread my wings and I truly became unfurled.

The examiner’s nickname was “Big Bad Chase

After passing my challenging check ride, I had an enormous smile on my face.

After the paperwork was signed and I was on my way

I felt a huge sense of accomplishment, and it’s something I still feel today.

Always follow your dreams and listen to your heart

Love what you do, do what you love and that’s a great start!



I first flew on an airliner at a few months old

My love of flying began early so I was told.

Long ago, arriving passengers would be a greeted by smiling friends at the gate

The love they received and gave to one another, made me feel so great.

 I witnessed the sharp looking flight crew depart the jet plane

 I knew at that instant I wanted to fly, and it would be a huge goal to attain.

I studied long hours, worked very hard and nothing could stop me from achieving my goal of flying

 Some tried to sell the idea that flying jets was not a job for me, this was an idea I was not buying.

There were people who said, “you can’t do that you’re not a guy”

 I said, “you just watch me, I’m going to fly”.

 In a job saturated by rules, regulations and men

I used my hard earned skills of flying and humor to fit in.

 I love flying high above this magnificent country during the Fourth of July fireworks 

Spectacular views of soaring mountains, shimmering lakes, and golden aspen trees are just a few of my jobs perks.

Never give up on the ambitious dreams that you love

Soar high and fast near the beautiful heavens above!



After successfully passing my check ride, I landed in the left seat

It was a bright sunny day through the flight deck window, I could feel the warm summer heat.

I glanced at my IPAD, to retrieve information on my arrival airport

I knew the landing would not take long, the runway was quite short.

That’s when I caught a glimpse of my reflection…4 stripes and all

A huge smile formed on my face, even though I’m of average height, I felt extremely tall.

It’s been said that you can accomplish anything once you set your mind to it

My trip to the left seat was long, but at that moment I felt a huge sense of pride, I’d have to admit.

I think back to the days when my parents told me to never give up on my dreams

The road to success is exciting, rewarding & usually not as tough as it seems.

I felt so lucky that day to catch a glimpse of my reflection

Never stop challenging yourself, and you will realize that you’re headed in the right direction!

Ungurain, Madeline


Flying was once the dream of so many who came before us

The world is full of possibilities;

To bring ours dreams to life

Is one of our most important responsibilities

When we fail people try to crush our dreams,

But once we start to fly,

The skies forget our every failure

And remember how we try

It is the peace of flying the first light of the morning,

The grace of ascending the moon-lit night,

The power of perseverance to keep on keeping on,

However relentless the fight

Flying is like the radiance of soaring through a rainbow,

The delight of playing the engine’s sweet tune,

It is following our dreams as far and high as they take us,

Disregarding what critics assume

Flying is like a present that we open to find hope;

The hidden promise of the stars of the night,

It is a love story of the ages,

It can be yours, even if people say it isn’t right

Flying is the greatest teacher of patience,

But we must learn to fly with passion,

The skies have a spot for you,

Pave your way however you fashion.

Flying is doing what was once thought to be impossible,

And proving the world wrong,

Expecting the unexpected,

You had it in you all along!


Copyright. © 2020. Linda Pauwels