Paper Planes

By Dagogo Hart

Write a poem about anything.

Rip the page from the book and make a paper plane. You know, the simple ones we made as children.

When I was a kid I would breathe into the wings of a paper plane like somehow I had the lungs of God and that must be how he kept planes in the sky, because even then we knew that living isn’t just breathing but the application of breath. So breathe into yours, and let that paper plane poem fly. Believe without questioning that air and words can keep anything alive, for what is God if not his breath and his words that come to life when the world feels dark and empty.

My mirror always gives advice like, consider the big picture, but always pay attention to detail.

All my gods don’t pay attention to detail and I don’t blame them, there’s over 7 billion details. So maybe we all don’t matter the same, but at some point we all believed that our breaths could keep planes in the sky, at some point we all believed that God will make our dreams come true.

So today I am writing poems and making planes and taking breaths so deep the paper ripples from the wind of my lungs. I guess what I’m trying to say is I’m trying.

Men like me, we daydreamers, we caterpillars trying to be birds but we’ll settle for butterflies. But my best friend, she is a tree, planted deep but reaching for the sky, shedding her leaves in autumn cos she knows that even the ground needs a blanket from the cold.

All my gods don’t pay attention to detail, but my best friend, she is human and kind or at least she tries.

We still fear the empty in a half full glass, but we know we need air as much as we need water. So we drink, half believing we are all gods in charge of our own planes. And we breathe, half expecting the human in us to always try. But we always, more often than sometimes, leave something in the glass for someone else.


Directed by Matthew Thompson.

Reproduced with permission of the author.