Fall of Icarus

Did you hear on the air 
The sea breathed out, a sound like folly, falling?
Naught but billowing, brigantine sails
Cracked, slapped and bellied by the wind.
Not the crack of water, limbs and heart, and a father mourning.
 
Hear now the splashing
Ships, sea-sure footed and salty.  
The smashing of waves, beats the breast of the shore
The crashing of water that sighs in retreat.
The splashing of limbs and shudder of courage.
 
Be lulled by
The lapping of water on wooden vessels
Ancient and aching with brine, rolling in time, 
Creaking and groaning, rocked by the tide, barnacled-bottomed.
Muted by distance, and vague as the sea mist, a ship bell knells
The sleep of Icarus 
 
Sea birds “cry”, 
Like a shrill sky orchestra screaming
(They muffle a father’s keening)
Wings, carefully wrought, beating and pulsing
The breast of Perdix is heaving
 
Such Pastoral peace,
The plough grates on stones in the earth.  Clean turf 
And the tread of the horse, plod on.  It’s the natural order of things.  
The tinkle of tackle, and bit in the mouth.  
The sound of the labyrinth soil razed to order
 
The Lamb calls for the lost, for the one who is gone. 
Daedalus curses and the ploughman ploughs on.

K.MacGloin

Image: Landscape with the Fall of Icarus, c.1555, Pieter Bruegel

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