Gordon Nightingale

Why Oh Why, would you want to fly
In a paper aeroplane across the sky?
Christmas wrapping tubes to assemble the frame,
Tissue paper wings painted bright like a flame
Stretched tight and sealed with aeroplane dope
And a rubber band motor lubricated with soap.

It’s big enough to carry a boy,
Or even a man! It’s not merely a toy.
It could even carry a girl who is suitably brave
…And her mother too! It will surely amaze!
The propeller is borrowed from an electric fan,
…Can it power the plane? Yes! Of course it can!

Wind and wind the propeller ‘til the rubber is tight,
Now to take us all on a most scenic flight.
Roll down the runway going faster and faster,
Pull back on the joy-stick avoiding disaster,
Climb like an arrow from a 60 pound bow,
It will fly very high if you don’t fly too slow.

When the rubber winds down and the power is gone,
It will take all you skill for to glide very long.
Find a nice thermal; it will take you much higher!
Then extending the glide won’t come down to the wire.
Return to the airfield, bring it in for a landing,
Requiring some skill but not too demanding.

So why oh why would you want to fly
In an aeroplane of paper across the sky?
Because it’s exciting and Oh! So much fun!
Besides if you’re daring, it’s the thing to be done.

Gordon Nightingale is a local author and poet and is the convenor of the Daylesford U3A Writers’ Circle.