Daft Icarus

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it began as a secret desire (an itch
in the marrow too vague to get through
to the bone) an idea that never could
make it as flesh – there wasn’t a part of me
sane i could tell that would have spared
it a breath to get started
so i slept

one midday i woke up with a bang – light
was bashing in through the windows
and suddenly out of my pores
sprang this fully-fledged practical paeon
this triumphant brass-note of praise
for a why-hadn’t-i-yelled-it-before
sort of answer to my life’s rubbing-out
of my dreams
i’ll jump from the window
(i sang to myself)
and i’ll fly
and be damned to daft icarus
i crowed
and i flew – or i fled (which is
very much the same grain of word
and it graciously covers the gap
between the experience i had in my head
and the one i met rushing up
from the ground where the glasshouse
splashed around to reflect me
as i passed on my way down to earth
and the squirt of my dad’s best tomatoes
and my mum’s angry mask of a face
that just wasn’t brought up to be fruitful)
so i fled – or i flew – out the gate
up the street till i melted
just like that daft icarus before me
and i thought
well why the sod not
so i jumped in a pond till i cooled
and the blood from a scratch on my hand
turned the green water red but not a
thick peasant came to be in on the wonder
and i had to go home soaking wet
to a tongue that had blisters and a belt
round the head from my dad – but i lived

which is more than daft icarus did

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