ICARUS DESCENDING: A DIRGE
(For the Fallen Freedom Fighters of People Power in Manila, Libya, Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain, Tunisia, Iraq and elsewhere.)
Even these gray skies are not spared
the mayhem plotted by the mighty:
somewhere among the prickly branches
dangles the mangled carrion of a junco
who must have tried to fly higher
than it should and caught the eye
of the sharp-shinned hawk now wiping
its after-breakfast beak atop the bald
maple tree as a gray breast feather
floats down and lands on snow.
Icarus will not --cannot--fly to the sun.
There will be hordes of sparrows
perched sentry-like on those branches
before their trembling twigs break
into a camouflage of leaves and flowers.
That gnarled maple will loom gray with
twittering kins of that quartered prey
and there will be a cacophony of calls
before perching sundown songs are sung.
Not quite a reveille at sunrise, a screech
of a battlecry echoes in the wakened hills:
Icarus, Icarus, do not fly to the sun!
The predator has arrived for the hunt:
glides into the maple top rather regally
while the sparrows swarm for the kill
before the sharp-shinned hawk alights.
A stained black breast feather floats
amid the strangest banshee of triumph.
Icarus rises, screams, then plummets.
---ALBERT B. CASUGA
Gray sky. A gray breast feather floats down and lands on the snow. Ten minutes later, a sharp-shinned hawk appears in the big maple.---Dave Bonta, The Morning Porch, 02-26-11