October 31, 2008

I, Icarus

Earthbound, I Icarus,
One day wished to fly,
To soar into the clouds,
Into the heavenly sky.

Bird, alas, I was not,
No wings of mine to beat,
They said, “Humans do not fly,
They stand on their earthly feet.”

Far stronger
Were my dreams of flight,
One day to leave the ground
Out of my mortal sight.

Wings I grew
Of wax and leather
Tethered to my arm
By straps of leather.

I beat my arms
As I had seen the birds do
Up and down, up and down
As away from me they flew.

First, just an inch,
I cleared off the ground,
The weightlessness of flight
Intoxicating, I found.

Harder, I beat my hands
Till ache grew in my arms.
I beat on still, higher I went
As you looked on in alarm.

“Higher, higher, faster, faster,”
Until hoarse I cried,
To soar above the clouds,
Above everything I tried.

Along with the eagles,
Far over your head,
Right up to the sun,
Where even birds fear to tread.

The wax began to melt,
And feathers, off they fall,
In the middle of the sky
Oh did my flight stall.

And earthward I hurtle,
I smile and close my eyes,
I Icarus, man-bird
Will always belong to the skies.

31st October 2008

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