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.