Somewhere between LAX and ZRH


the US authorities ask for our help,
just before i fall asleep to
please don’t gather in small groups
in front of lavatories, as if
real conspiracies are formed
by tired strangers in an airplane,

i think of my cousin, how we used
to walk the forest, telling chilly stories
and then were afraid to move –ahead
as it got dark. his eyes are on me &

when i wake, watching like i watched
the rabbi earlier, how his head
sank deeper, deePEr with each breath,

his grey, long beard vibrating
in the rhythm of the plane.
3 hours left on our way eastward,

i stand by the steward in the aisle—
nah, we’re not gathering, just stretching aching muscles
& i type this poem in my phone, an anchor
between time and sleep and vision,
shifting worlds & thrill of joy
to soon be home


when i came back home yesterday evening, a home-cooked meal by my daughters and the above welcome sign at our carport was awaiting me…good to be back…smiles.. linking up with dVerse OpenLinkNight…even though i’m madly tired and jet-lagged…but just well…couldn’t resist…smiles


58 responses to “Somewhere between LAX and ZRH

  1. Welcome home Claudia. I’m sure you have hundreds of stories to share. Great to come home to a meal cooked for you and a welcome home sign 🙂
    Had to smile at the don’t congregate outside the toilets line…it’s where all conspiratorial plots are born, isn’t it…LOL

  2. Even though you’ve already heard it many times, WELCOME HOME! Also, it is good to know that you were not part of the latest conspiracy that will be all over the news… Toilets, I must say!

  3. smiles….great to see the sign welcoming you…and i know that was a long trip back….so was the book good? did you read at all or just write… the pic of the rabbi as well in your words….good to see you ma’am…smiles.

  4. So glad you’re home safe and joining us for a poetry cure to jetlag. You do a wonderful job of bringing us along on your travels, sharing your insights into the world, always fresh and refreshing. I hope you get some much needed rest and quality time with your family.

  5. Glad you made it home safely, Claudia. It is always nice to be greeted by a home-cooked meal and also to know that you were missed! So true of kids though, they tell scary stories and scare each other so that they are afraid to move. We used to sit on my front porch after dark when I was a kid and tell scary stories. Same thing. We scared each other until we went into the lighted home.

  6. ” i type this poem in my phone, an anchor
    between time and sleep and vision,” love this Claudia!

    I hope that you will consider sharing an offering for this year’s 4th annual gratitude word quilt. You can find information about the project and how to participate at the top of my blog.

  7. Oh so glad that you couldn’t resist. You really made me laugh with that line “as if real conspiracies are formed by tired strangers on airplanes” What a lovely welcome!! I’ll add mine–Welcome Home! ❤ Happy you made it home safely, poem in hand 😉

  8. I love your comparison of flight to walks through the unknown woods w/ your cousin as a child. Flying is a lot like that… glad you had a safe trip!

  9. Always good to be home, whether it’s through the air or through the woods. The phone can make a great diary, no? This poem is a very interesting page from that…much enjoyed.

  10. welcome home to you, Claudia! I am sure your family is happy to have you back. Your poem is strong and sure, and as usual, is an in-the-moment feast.

  11. Thank you for capturing this moment of movement in stillness–or the opposite? We are always gathered into smaller and larger groups, stretching the bonds between us. Conspiracies of love.

  12. while I’m sure you thoroughly enjoyed your trip, I imagine it is quite lovely to be home–and to be greeted so lovingly with a sign and hot meal! I can imagine that a good stretch on such a long plane ride was nice.

  13. A lot goes through my mind in a nano second. I love the poem, so glad you’re home, what a great thing a welcome poster and a cooked meal, nice daughters, what a long trip (mine wasn’t that long), the rabbi – nice, and finally – I’m so jealous. I can’t write a poem on my cell phone while waiting on line, or doing much else except sitting, concentrating, hoping something will show up in my brain. Well, maybe it was more than a nano second. Welcome home.

  14. Lovely poem and lovely story, Claudia. How does airplane rides (doesn0t that sound strange), I mean how those flights almost put us in a trance-like mode. There is a definite dream-like aura to the poem. The tiredness, the dream and the arrival. So nice.

  15. And there you are, home in the bosom of family & hearth. Really neat how midst the hub-bub and travel cramps, between the stale pretzels and peanuts, you can write such a flawless poem standing in the aisle; but then, poets are like that.

  16. the the poetic wandering of a weary traveler. vivd imagery you’ve woven into this journey home Claudia…I can almost hear the hum of the engines. glad you’ve made it safely back to your dear ones ~ C.

  17. hey claudia

    i have to say this reads like a horror story to me because of my fear of flying but its saved by your excellent turn of phrase and your superb illumination of the inner life that holds the present together:

    as if
    real conspiracies are formed
    by tired strangers in an airplane

    i need a parachute and a valium ;D

  18. Beautiful poem, thank you for posting. I too have been grateful for the little computer in the hand, sometimes called a phone, which allows otherwise forgotten thoughts, ideas, outlines or in your case, complete poems, to be captured, rather than lost at 20,000 feet. Thanks again.

  19. I loved it. The stupidity of the crowd malarkey (do they realise that terrorists operate on their own?) and your daughters’ welcome banner. What a beautiful piece. Many thanks.

    Greetings from London.

  20. Claudia, nice snapshot of the ride home. It is murder to be on a plane for more than two hours in my opinion. I imagine you are delighted to be back with your family. Glad the flight was safe.


  21. there is something deeply good about returning home, and so much more so in the welcome environment you paint – the welcome back sign (what a treat!) & home cooked meal 😉

    meanwhile, sheila & i are enjoying adapting to our few weeks here, doing what comes each day, and planning for the first few things back home 😉

  22. Wonderful as always, Claudia–the layers you bring to simple observation make the words alive, and your experience translates almost as if it were our own..

  23. Hi! Claudia…
    Somewhere between LAX and ZRH…
    “i stand by the steward in the aisle—
    nah, we’re not gathering, just stretching aching muscles
    & i type this poem in my phone, an anchor
    between time and sleep and vision,
    shifting worlds & thrill of joy
    to soon be home…”

    …To The Beautiful Image That You Shared Above…Which Compliment Your Last Stanza In Your Very [beautiful and thought-provoking Poem…] too!
    Welcome back to home!
    deedee 🙂