Escape was not enough.
When Icarus took flight
it was as a tumbling acrobat
lifts to the thrill. But even before earth
could claim him back, the waxen wings
touched thermals, and he was heedless as eagle.
A soaring, circling condor, then sky pilot
aerobatting each upward thrust
through Olympian clouds.
He did not see the gods. Only felt the heat
of angry breaths. Heard the fates singing
to the winds that tore at his wings
and tornadoed him down
to his drowning.
Still we humans carry that same hubris.
Head to the heavens as climbers,
pilots, paragliders, speed flyers
or base jump, skydive,
just to taste that Icarian freefall.
– Me, I take flight only in imagination
beachcomb for feathers from drowned seabirds
and wish on them for just such derring-do.
Written for the photo prompt #153 from the Sunday Muse
29 thoughts on “hubris”
Lots of really great language and imagery here. Full points for “aerobatting!” The last line of “wish on them” for derring-do is a great way to bring the poem to earth, even if that is not what we wish for, LOL!
too right- I suppose in reality I wish I could fathom the lure of extreme sports and Icarus may have been the first
Right! That’s a great observation.
I love the progression this holds Laura; from Icarus to your beautiful thoughts. This is gorgeous poetry!!
thank you, Carrie – you choose the most evocative prompts!
love this! the words, the sense of flight, the risk–a breathless poem.
lovely feedback – thank you especially like the sense of breathlessness!
Once I went for paragliding in a beautiful Himalayan valley but couldn’t do it because we had to hurry back to our hotel to my dismay and my husband heaved a sigh of relief. I love how the image of the woman holding plumes took you to the Greek myth and the extreme sports of the modern world; “Icarian freefall” indeed.
amazing what flights our imagination can take – safer than what you had in mind. How daring!
Your poem is lovely, wishing on feathers is a wonderful concept … to be embraced like wishing on shells along the seashore.
many thanks Helen – wishing on feathers easier than stars!
Some gems here — aerobatting and tornadoing, for example. Well written!
Absolutely wonderful to read.
Thanks for dropping by to read mine Laura
thank you Gillena – and for the return visit
This poem took flight itself……….and I really enjoyed the closing lines.
many thanks Sherry – a down to earth ending!
The deities don’t want us getting too big for our britches. I like the tenuous connection you have with those who flew too high.
not at all – we are too puffed up with pride – which goeth before a fall, as the saying goes!
I love that ending Laura. Being grounded is also beautiful.
indeed Linda – it keeps us less dizzy!
Great language in this, Laura. The ending is just right.
Oh, this wish for wings is in all of us even those of us who love to bird watch and gather feathers. Beautiful writing!
I love to watch the birds Susie but have no desire to don a wing suit! thanks for your appreciation
Hubris indeed, my dear Laura and I too prefer the wings of imagination! 😉
Superb poetry! xoxo
Greece has so much to tell us about humanity 😉 thank you, Marina xx
Thank YOU, my dear Laura for a beautiful poem! xoxoxo
my muse was inspired by your myths 🙂 x
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