Observations of the Netanya cliff gliders
Fly high, summer sky birdman on the wing,
Clouds a-scouring, cloth for support,
Life tied to numerous strings.
Defy dangers fraught;
Float on the air as a majestic bird of prey.
Hang-gliding! The wind is your stay.
You’re a human bird with cloth pinions,
Overlooking rock face as your perceived dominion.
Oh to be caught on an upward draft,
And above lesser mortals willingly waft.
Stretched out below, the sandy bay,
From hanging heights happily surveyed.
Wing and sky range above,
A plunge below finds the beach.
Growing sport that many love,
Man for the skies would ever reach.
But would I willingly follow?
Swift and sure, the answer’s no.
Of heights afraid,
Much more for promenade saunters made,
I understand and bless hovering humanity,
But ground surroundings appeal to the likes of me.
To investigate nature’s wonders from solid earth
Seems to my limited soul of greater worth;
To soar as some feathered fowl in the air
Produces within me a shudder rare.
Yet a growing bunch are they,
Willing and desirous to back their hunch,
And leave the land as their stable stay,
Confident their flimsy contraption will suffice
To stave off the early advent of paradise,
Or of the other place,
Whichever of the two they blithely face.
Launching out like eagles on the breeze,
Enjoying wind and wing of the sun-decked air,
Hanging loose with the greatest of ease,
As if flying a part of the inner man frees,
Fearless of a downward spiral from airborne chairs.
On a few airplanes have I flown,
And some, I know, meet with disaster,
Yet flimsily on a parachute to be blown,
Too much tempts ill fate to master.
Sneaking admiration I’ll allow for their pluck,
Their freedom as gravity they boldly defy,
Backing existence on a seeming caprice of luck;
Gracefully they linger in the azure sky.
Springy grass propels gliders to overhead pass,
Sizable shadows their form casts.
On occasion too numerous to count,
Garlanded in colors ever so bright,
For every one who climbs up on the air,
A fair few fall short of finding even faltering flight,
And grounded fold in crumpled despair.
Some don’t know how to engage the breeze,
Or enter into flowing motion grand,
Which experts accomplish with envious ease,
And small twitches of the adept hand.
Time after time the amateurs fail,
Falling foul of gravitational law.
Frustrated effort nought avails,
As professionals high above them soar.
One day these gosling gliders will conquer gravity,
To join mature air riders, roving above the cliff so free.
To hang below sunny skies will they their purpose bend,
All disappointment changed into sky sustained pleasure,
As on the wing a way they wend;
Practice perfected depicts their effort’s measure.