Wednesday, July 22, 1987

HOT AIR BALLOON


Like an outrageous sea cousin of the jellyfish
a hot air balloon hovers atop a sea of grape vines
it contracts and expands;
the hissing and snapping of flame
tongues fill the bag with hot air
and five people—some climbing in,
others climbing back out
in chaotic patterns  ready for safari
dressed in kahki and telephotos
they stalk the grapes
the farmer runs out of his house
shaking his fist at the tourists
who paid $500 a head to sail above his grape sea
destroying his vines—
more money than he'll get for his crop
Meanwhile in the next pasture,
a horse and donkey have stopped their
morning grazing to watch the spectacle
of this strange fish floating
in the midst of their breakfast


7/21/1987? 7/22?
7/94 saved



FREEWRITE

Like an outrageous above sea cousin of the jellyfish, 
the hot air balloon with rainbow colors
drifts over a sea of grape leaves, 
it contracts and expands, 
the hissing and snapping of flame tongues filling the bag.
Five people in and out at the gondola, 
someone getting in others getting out, chaos, 
dressed in khaki and sporting telephotos. 
The farmer comes running out of his house 
shaking his fist at the tourists 
who paid top dollar to sail above this vineyard
At those who are destroying his vines
Meanwhile in the next pasture
the horse and donkey have stopped their morning grazing 
to watch the spectacle of stinging jellyfish 
in the middle of their breakfast 
The hot air balloon lands later, near my car,
in the Napa State Hospital parking lot, 
the patients are thrilled beyond belief, 
there is a cop is writing the balloonists a ticket 
and there is a general hubbub and howling 
how will I be able to teach today?


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