Sunday, August 23, 2009

Icarus Is Real

Walking the tree-lined path
they stop to watch King Parrots
roost and swoop
among the winter leaves -
their green backs shadowed,
the flame-orange of their breasts
only glimpsed.
One bird
falls swiftly from its perch
and, wings clutching the air,
glides to another branch
further down the slope.
This is done silently
but the man watching, jolted, gasps
as last night's dream
explodes softly in his chest:
he remembers
running off the edge of a cliff
and flying out over the sea
with giddy ease.
Now, with electric intensity,
he flings his arms wide
and, rooted to the spot, soars.
He's flying again.

He won't stop. Turning,
he nearly steps on a parrot
standing near his leg
and startled joy surges in his veins
as the surprised king leaves flapping furiously.
Now the park is suffused with singing winter light:
golden browns and yellows and streaky greens;
thick, dark, looming trunks; gravel grey.
The parrots flitter about one last time
in a flurry of random shufflings,
and the man
is off and striding
with cascades of words
streaming behind his eyes
and his chest somewhere out beyond the trees
reminding him that Icarus is real,
the Sun is weak,
and everything in him called disordered
is gathered up beneath the wings
he now so purposefully uses.

When he wakes, he hasn't even been asleep.

August 2009

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