Helicopter Flying Tutorial

by Jane Røken

You have to travel far before you turn it over.
Until then, watch your altitude.
Climb upstairs. Meet the torque reaction.
Follow the green lights. Hover. Watch.

Mind the hazards of the skyways,
celestial jellyfish, Markarian men-o’-war,
their angle of attack. Death-watch angels
on patrol — and check the yaw rate.

Listen to the subtle scent of valerian
that penetrates the fuselage.
Check your headspace. This is the kind
of metal that the light shines through.

Breathe. Hum. Feel the life in the sky.
Cyclic control is the snailshell of Buddha.
Turn and bank. Light the candles now,
the chandeliers on the tail rotor blades.

This is the point where you turn it over.
Go on, try it. It’s been done before.
Prayer flags fly by, a foggy chain-dance;
fill in the brittle phantom spaces.

Smell the salty taste of the fifth halogen.
Girandole. Sideslip, hover and watch. What
makes you think you’re still on the simulator?
Come round. Plonk it down.



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