Ships at Sea

Ships at Sea, with the Fall of Icarus (Painting by Breugal)

White vapor trails, flashing, signaling, and he falls,
bubbling, meteoric,
down to oceans, spread seemingly endlessly, below,
cool laps cooling, as the sea god grasps, and slows,
stopping him like a dancer after a balletic sprint,
he suddenly aware this deep dark world
is not ready yet for him to succumb
though he is as alien here
as he had been in the air,
he rose, he rises then, from this premature grave,
so much slower now than he had fallen,
a flower erupts, volcanic, until the light enfolds him,
and he breaths the molecules of brightness.

Open your eyes, Icarus. You are as incidental
to this scene, as you were to the flight of your father,
to a painting by Breughel, a canvas created
fully three thousand years
since the destruction of that labyrinth,
peasants wandering a fanciful landscape,
peering at windblown ships,
unaware of either the rise and fall of empires,
or the birth of this aeronautical science.

Was it grace he fell fr0m, or his aspiration for a kind of godliness?
He smiled on this. His father, though a marvel
as engineer, architect, scientist, would,
in all likelihood, never know of his survival.
He mocked the picture
that he stared at in the museum,
at the numberless versions of that mythic disaster.
They didn’t even know
he had seen the steeds of the sun
go galloping past him,
did not know that to fly like a god,
and to strive,
were one and the same.
And this, to his glory,
he had achieved