Hans Ostrom

Gold Star - 4,782 Points (1954 / California)

Balloonist's Log, Final Entry - Poem by Hans Ostrom

The field of our day lay ordinarily
before us. Gravity and practice

tethered our thoughts
to checklists. Helium

swelled fabric beyond wrinkled
rainbow to painted light-bulb. Up-

and foreheads; then hats and coiffures,
quickly pigment on the landscape. Cheers

littered the wind. We thought
we knew the limits. But late

in the day the continent of air between
field and cloud shrank to an urgent isthmus.

The causes were final and cited
accurately. In the meantime,

we bartered in good faith with Earth,
starting with sandbags, moving through provisions,

ending with camera, compass, and hope.
Rapid descent reduced the gondola and us to ballast.

By the time the trees and rocks were close enough
to name, choice had changed to fate

at a predictable rate.

Comments about Balloonist's Log, Final Entry by Hans Ostrom

  • (11/2/2007 12:36:00 AM)

    In you poem, 'A Photograph of the Day-Shift... you did it with four words: 'Fall with them now' This time you have done it with one: 'Up-' You have taken me both directions. I just want to let you know it's hard to read and hold your breath at the same time. (Report)Reply

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  • (10/19/2007 6:52:00 PM)

    You have expertly captured the joyful anticipation of the takeoff, the elation of the ride, the concern of the descent, and the dread of the conclusion. Superb poetry!

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  • (10/15/2007 10:34:00 PM)

    Exciting! You built the suspense well.

    keep on

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Poem Edited: Saturday, February 8, 2014

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