Landing Pattern in Mid-Afternoons, by Ronald Moran

Ronald Moran

At the same time every school day afternoon
while I am
in my den, as usual trying to decipher the secret
of my
small, singular universe, shrinking every day,
I wonder

if the big one is also shrinking, as some say,
or expanding,
as most astrophysicists maintain—my not being
in their arts, so I believe—and given findings,
it is fast

becoming an art, since each piece, however small,
is needed
to sustain life in the universe; and I am impressed,
not uneasy,
but if I were younger, I would take physics more

so while I am reflecting, with far fewer synapses
than before,
about creation, endings without biblical prompts,
I hear
a sound like a 737 in a landing pattern overhead,
and I rise

to look out the four pane, palladium window over
my expanse
of blinds, for a Southwest Airliner, a new carrier
flying 737s
to our airport, big jets for us, but the sound comes
from a school bus

downshifting on a gentle decline, below the only
landing pattern
over my subdivision, carrying five or six children
from Oakview,
while someone waits for each one, as if the bus stop
were a gate.

Bio: Ronald Moran is Professor Emeritus at Clemson University. He is the award-winning author of 11 collections of poetry and literary criticism

11 thoughts on “Landing Pattern in Mid-Afternoons, by Ronald Moran

    • Hey Joan,

      You did it again. And, believe me, I do appreciate it. And, again, it happened.

      I’m sorry I left off the word “of” in my comment on your comment of another of my poems in this issue.

      Take care,


    • Hey Maren,

      I adopted that style, probably five or so years ago, and I probably will continue to use it so long as I can still write, which may not be too long in the future, but I worked last night, from, say, 12:30 to about 2:30, trying to polish four new poems, and, I think I might have made some headway. Thank you for reading my work.


      • I have been pondering your “style,” your pattern, and find it more and more agreeable. Can you describe how you came to “find” it? I like it so much, I am going to steal it and see how it feels. In looking at the archives I found more of your poems in the same pattern. Don’t understand how I was blind. There is such movement in the long lines, and followed by constant attention-getting in the short ones. Do you know of other writers employing this rhythm?

      • Hey Maren,

        I changed my method of writing poems after reading extensively the poetry of David Kirby. I don’t imitate his form, but, while rhythm–the flow of a poem–has always been very important to me, David’s work pushed me into the direction of the one long line, followed by a short one. Even though he doesn’t use that format, I learned from him how to make a poem more “readable.” I appreciate your comments and your interest. I don’t know of any other writers whose poems are similar in format to mine, but I find it comfortable. My most important objective in writing poems is to make the reader want to say, “Hey I could have written that,” but it takes me a long time with each poem before I can ever say that I have reached that goal, and, of course, often I don’t.


  1. I so much enjoy your comments on the writing. Seems silly just to correspond here. Today’s question is: do you find you use the same form regardless of the subject? I find the latter leads me to the former as a rule.
    Joan (you’ll find my e-mail address there).

    • Hey Maren,

      If I can find any of my two latest volumes around here––Waiting (2009) and The Jane Poems (2011––would you like me to send you a copy of each? Direct communicatiOn is fine. My email is And, of course, I would be glad to look at your work.


      • Ronald, you are most kind. I would love copies of your books. I certainly can afford the price that must, as always, be far less than the worth. Will email soon. Looked up and read some of David Kirby online. I do not find much to compare. His go on and on. Yours flow with movement.

    • Hey Joan,

      Please use my email as soon as you would like to shift from one of form communication to another. My email is In response to your question, Now, yes, I use that format almost exclusively, since it seems to suit me better than any other at the time I am writing. But, no, once in a great while I will revert back to the format that characterized my earlier writings, if at the onset of the poem I find I am, amost without thinking about it, writing lines of relatively the same length.


  2. Thanks, Ronald, for more explanation. I will look up David Kirby, study his. And also read yours over and over. If I am happy with my imitation(s), may I send it/them to you? Like Joan, I would find direct and lengthier communication agreeable. No problem if not. Maren

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