Thursday, April 12, 2012

Go Fly A K

The following insults are printed to make a point and are not directed at you, dear reader:

“Go jump in the lake.”
“Go milk a chicken.”
“Go goose a ghost.”
"Go jump in a lake of chicken milk you ghost gooser."

Now those sound like real insults. No one would smile and respond, “Sure” if they were on the receiving end of such unpleasant words. On the other hand, if you were to tell someone to “Go fly a kite” then they might happily oblige.

Kite flying is fun. Go fly one? Why not? It would be my pleasure.

It wasn’t so pleasurable an activity when I was a kid though. Why, back in my day we had these big old clunky kites that were constructed with cardboard and mud. They were shaped like boxes and boulders and the tail was made out of a metal chain. We never could get them to fly. All we could do was look up in the sky and just imagine.

Ok, it wasn’t that bad. But I do remember it being a real struggle to get one off the ground. We used to have to run as fast as a pronghorn antelope for half a mile into gale force winds, only to see the kite rise twenty feet into the air, then do a few spins before it crashed into the dirt.

There were, or are, kites shaped like boxes. I never have seen one fly, and I have my doubts that anyone has ever witnessed one rising into the air. A box is not the first shape that comes to mind when one thinks of aerodynamics.

In fact, I did a little internet search on images of box kites and found almost nothing but a few diagrams, some pictures of the kites lying on tables, and old photos of people struggling to get the darned things to fly.




But I do remember in the ‘70s trying a newfangled kite with a delta shape. I couldn’t believe how easily it took off! It was as if the thing couldn't wait to get away from me.

That was many years ago. I can’t imagine what advancements have been made since then. Are there kites now that you just look at, clap your hands, and within seconds their soaring with the seagulls?

Kite, incidentally, is a name for some hawk-like birds. Unlike the kites I’ve been discussing, these rarely get wrapped around hydro lines.


If your heart is without stormy waves, everywhere are blue mountains and green trees. If our real nature is creative like nature itself, wherever we may be, we see that all things are free like sporting fishes and circling kites.
- old Zen saying

Ode To A Doomed Kite

In May I just might
buy some kind of a kite
and smile at the sight
of its fluttery flight

How lovely and light
while string tethers it tight
at its heavenly height
against blue sky so bright

Then quickly it quite
by chance rolls to the right
as it’s smashed to smithereens
on the evil evergreens

Not a great poem, but at least I didn't write about goosing a ghost.


  1. HA! Now, you've made me wonder if I missed a post about goosing a ghost... guess I'll have to check!

    Actually, my brother and I made box kites out of wooden slats and newspaper when we were kids, and they flew pretty darned well. Not as pretty and colorful as the store-bought ones, though. My hubby and I flew kites with a couple of our grandchildren last year, and I think we enjoyed it more than the kids did.

    1. I think the only way I could get a box kite to fly would be to insert a few helium balloons into it. That might be kind of fun.

  2. Very funny captions on the photos! I work with a bunch of 11 year olds. I gave them some instructions on how to build a kite using straws, string and a piece of plastic grocery bag. They looked like.......well they looked like a piece of plastic grocery bag attached to a couple of straws with a string hanging off the end. But honestly, they thought they had died and gone to heaven when they were trying to fly them. Kites really are a crowd pleaser.

    1. Thanks Angie. Even a straw-string-grocery bag kite would likely soar higher than the ones I attempted to fly as a kid.