The Inventor’s Memory

The Inventor’s Memory


In a moment he was gone.

His father, though, lived on

for a goodly number of years

working on one project after another

for kings and queens and the generals of Mycenae,

only occasionally harking back

to that invention

which had saved him but killed his son.

He should have known that the child

of one who held science as the pinnacle of civilization

would think of it as a mere transient plaything,

and that the rules by which the discipline functioned

could quite arguably be scorned

and more often than not disregarded.

It was as if it were a weapon

instead of an enlightenment,

but he was well aware that the use to which his labyrinth

was being put, the edifice

he had built to make that realm gleam,

was now being utilized to satisfy the expansionist megalomania

of the Cretan Empire,

and if the techniques he had created

to cross the Aegean by an aeronautic flight

became known to such a one as King Minos,

he would be here in a moment,

ready to devastate the mainland.

And he thought back to that flash and splash

as the arrogance of that young man

brought him down to where Orpheus was similarly entombed,

and thought of how,

if that disaster had not occurred,

his Icarus, artistic aspirations aroused and stimulated,

would have written a paean  to flight and flying,

and that, that creative fervor, in the hands of the Cretans,

would have spelled a total return to barbarism,

and the very end of the world as he knew it.