I'm told that when I fly somewhere it's like driving myself to wherever I'm going in a big ol' Hummer. All by myself. So the passenger cabin is like a huge caravan of Hummers way up high....and all the tailpipes spew the exhaust 7 miles up, where it does more damage....
Knowing this takes a lot of the fun out of flying for me. If I had to drive a Hummer solo to Ireland I'm sure I'd find a vacation closer to home.
But I'm not immune to the intoxication of air travel, so for now I just close my heart and pretend it's less damaging to the atmosphere than it really is. I feel terrible about it. I sort of ignore my guilty feelings about the selfishness of flying. That's where this poem comes from.
free," I said,
"credit card miles."
I shut out the cries
from my heart and the hearts
of all life as yet unborn
who will pay immeasurable
costs for this phony freedom conjured
without shame by banks, big oil, airlines, me.
Consisting of ten lines, the Etheree poem starts with a one syllable line, then adds one syllable per line, until the last line of ten syllables for an overall syllable count of 55. In other words the syllabic structure is as follows: 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10. It’s an uncomplicated, unpretentious form of poetry that has the quality of slowly opening, like a flower.