Jun 13, 2008

Poetry Friday Challenge: Change

Mona delivered up another one unto us, her humble challengees. A word that, like many English words has more than one meaning.

So, in the spirit of one word with several meanings may I present for your elucidation and entertainment a collection of little bits that have been rattling around in my pockets for some time now. None of them are big enough to use by themselves but all together they make up about enough to buy a Coke-flavoured Icee at the corner store.

Uber Alles!

I used to love to watch "Wings" on the Discovery Channel, specifically the “Wings Of The Luftwaffe” episodes. Call it a mild obsession, call it what you will, I simply enjoyed learning about those magnificently-engineered flying machines. Like Burgess’ title character in A Clockwork Orange, however, I became behaviourally trained. Images inextricably linked in my mind to a piece of music, I was set up like Pavlov's pooch. The producers of the episodes must have thought it clever to play background music from a famous German composer while showing vintage film footage of these German aircraft dog-fighting, dropping bombs, and in turn being turned into balls of flaming debris by Allied fighters.

Now I cannot hear the second movement of Ludwig van Beethoven's Pathetique without seeing Messerschmitt Me 109 fighters firing their guns into slow-moving formations of Allied Flying Fortresses, or Heinkel HE-111 bombers dropping their payload of death over grainy, black-and-white towns. Hearing the Ninth Symphony’s opening bars brings to my mind juddering grey images of baby-faced airmen carefully fueling experimental Luftwaffe aircraft, pumping in liquids so dangerous that the crewmen risk being engulfed in flame, much as the waiting townspeople will be when this craft appears overhead.

Don’t You Go Changing

Prince Barin: I've changed.
Princess Aura: I've changed, too.
Zarkov: [Successfully picks the electronic door lock] A-ha! I knew it was one of the prime numbers of the Zenith series. I haven't changed.

All Change:

In a motherly-stern but carefully nonthreatening tone the overhead announcement said “Unattended vehicles will be towed.”

“Unattended vehicles will be toad” said the echo.

I wondered if my vehicle was parked precipitously close to an amphibian as I boarded the shuttle. The driver called out in a weary sing-song “Airport shuttle, last stop, Concourse A, all change.” Finding a seat between two harried travelers I wondered if he knew just how right he was.

You Cannot Step In The Same River Twice

I feel like I don’t change, that time doesn’t affect me, that I’m still the same person I used to be five, ten, twenty years ago but I know I’m wrong. I can’t help but change, none of us can help it, cannot even lift a finger to slow the process. I used to feel I was like a boulder set in the river, unchanging, unaffected. I’m good at thinking things about myself that are patently wrong, though. I’m certain I’m not changing when the river is steadily wearing away at me, even more patient that the stone I feel I am. Slowly, so slowly I can’t even see it I’m being ground down into sand, left there in the river bottom in a pale swath until one day the water will flow on, it’s surface undisturbed by the rock that used to sit there.


Joan of Argghh! said...

Men get married hoping the girl never changes... and she always does.

Women get married hoping the guy will change... and he never does!

Nancy Dancehall said...

Amen, Joan.

LOVE the airport piece.

Rudi said...

More like Ouch Joan!

"Concourse A, all change." + "You Cannot Step In The Same River Twice":
Come August we adults will just be a few months older. Our kids will be a Summer older.

Hang in there Irrelephant. She'll be back. She's still as much your child as she ever was and will be. Still the same living, breathing, force of nature that someday will leave the nest and need to make her own. Test flights will make her stronger.

Mona Buonanotte said...

Oh, be still my heart...I love those shows about aircraft.

And thanks to you, I have Ludwig Van coursing through my head, ala Clockwork Orange....


Irrelephant said...

Joan! I'm wounded! But I agree. *wink*

Nancy, don't go egging her on! I'm glad you liked that one--I was starting to worry that this whole post had fallen sort of flat--very little response to it.

Rudi, you said it exactly. How is it that for us it's just a few months but for them it's a whole new epoch? I have faith that she'll grow and blossom, I just worry. *s* Parenting. Ye gods nobody ever said it'd be this hard.

Mona, you are the perfect woman, aren't ya? And if I were going to earworm you at least I got a nice classical piece for ya. Heh. Piece.