Conor Dowd

Icarus - Poem by Conor Dowd

Icarus the innocent,
the broken birdman felll to Earth,
who soared through sight and sound,
spellbound by the ecstacy of wind,
the zigzag tremors of the sky.

And Daedalus,
a craftsman shrewd and able,
creator of an artifice,
a labyrinth of rich and cruel geometry,
achieved a freedom through his art
but Minos, king of Crete,
spoke heavy words and imprisoned him in grief.

Father and son,
arrogance and pride are always seen
by those unseen,
the balance-sheet of life corrected,
each coin is counted, each price exacted.

Fifty years their difference
and fifty years of folly and regret,
both doomed and dooming through their love.

The father's hand upon the shoulder of his son
in a language only they could know, says:
'reassurance makes the deed assured'
and each steps forward,
each steps into the weightless air.

They compete and traffic with the sky
in bitter swirls of freedom and release,
in loops and leaps as clear and rich as vision.

And far below
a stretch of islands
glint like constellations in the sun,
winking in the deepest blue
as shadows white and black wheel far above them.

And Icarus in arrogance
will fly too high in blind and hopeless bliss
and begins to come undone
as atom follows atom
he unwinds and splinters in the golden sun.

And like a giddy meteor
that plummets without reason
uncontrollably through sky,
in the slipstream of his arrogance
he pierced the ocean far below,
a soft commotion in the waves,
then the jigsaw whole again.

And Daedalus flies calmly on,
unruffled, unobserved.

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Poem Edited: Wednesday, October 20, 2010

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