Contract Time

to the tune of “Be Thou My Vision”

The helicopter in my head hovers
like a hummingbird, like a big fat Q
over/above the eternal word,
its muffled dubba-dubba-dubba-dubba

beating back everything underneath:
a field of grain, weird waves on water,
newspapers, hats, even the satellite dish
—the swirling all of everything—

on top of that thing we call “a building.”
Men with briefcases come running.
The Maharishi, the Dalai Lama
and the pope approach, dresses flapping

as our star appears in sunglasses,
shielding her eyes from a still mighty wind.
Yeah, it’s a comedy! Or a tragedy,
whatever you want … just sign here for me baby,

You know I’m your biggest fan.


  1. Angelico Nguyen, Esq., OP says

    Recalls the best of Ice Cube.

    Thanks Quin.

  2. Jonathan Webb says

    Or Yeats.

    Thanks Quin.

  3. I recognize that opening sequence anywhere.

    O Roma! O urbs aertena!

  4. Quin Finnegan says

    Although aertena … aer tena as an imperative “hold the air!” kinda sorta works for describing a helicopter.

    Thanks for reading, JOB.

    Thanks to Angelico (I hope) and Webb too.

    • Quin Finnegan says

      It is sort of uncanny, because I certainly had that scene in mind while I was working on the first stanza. The actual inspiration came from somewhere closer to home, but it’s hard to think of helicopters without thinking of one towing a giant statue of Christ, at least while writing a poem with a vaguely religious theme. Or maybe I really am just ripping off Fellini w/o even realizing it, I don’t know. Good catch though.

  5. Jonathan Potter says

    Shine on you crazy diamond!

  6. By the way, this single line shines like your diamond!

    —the swirling all of everything—

    Keep truckin’!


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