Poem: Beyond Icarus


Beyond Icarus

The wind ruffles your hair.
The smell of rain fills the air.
Sand crunches quietly under your feet.

There are dark clouds on the horizon,
dark memories in your mind,
briefly, a fear of storm blackens your brow

then passes.

There is flotsam on the beach,
broken things with a long journey
and a short future.

There are dead things here too,
crabs, fish, the spar from a sailboat,
thrown to shore by a callous sea.

You walk.

You walk past it all.
You walk towards more of the same,
miles and miles of shoreline

with no destination in mind, a surrender
to your emotions, to your spirit too long trapped
in historic boxes, and too rarely

set free.

It is not fear exactly you are feeling.
The storm, after all, is still far out
and you have survived far worse.

But there is an uncomfortableness,
a sense that the shoreline is about to shift
beneath your feet, leaving you


You breathe deeply. The moist salt air
fills your lungs. You look down to your feet,
clad not in practical leather,

but in dancing shoes,
for this is what you do.
You dance across a world gone wild,

A wild jazz improvisation,

A thing of beauty and danger,
alone on the shore, with no one to know
whether you rise or fall, no one

To catch you, or cushion the collapse,
no one to reach their hand and lift you up again,
and suddenly you realize you are not just alone,

But powerful,

unfettered by expectations or other’s lies,
able to fly as far as you are willing to fall,
understanding that it is not the ground that is your enemy,

but your fear that holds you from the sun,
that your wings are not things of wax, but faith,
and so you spread your arms in this place no one else sees,

And fly.

About this poem

I have learned and unlearned a few things in my 61 years. One that never got unlearned is that I am the one that holds myself back. Always.

Spreading my wings,



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