Icarus, Icarus, Paratrooper by Marly Youmans

Icarus, Icarus, Paratrooper
Homage to Charles Causley

Slung down from heaven, torn silks whipped
By precipitous wind, he tripped

From air and rammed the blasting sea
That seemed a gun, cocked vertically.

Seas stalled in the chute, let him down
More than he’d ever been let down

By men, hurled and harrowed farther.
Glitter strafed the skin of water.

Stars and starfish are just fool’s gold
Where salts turn iron—he burns with cold,

Fingers like candles, a birthday wish
Darting and slipping off like fish.

His throat is streaked with phosphorus,
His May-day eyes are kissed (not by us),

And his arms hold harms like lilies
In the deep green meadows of the seas.

by Marly Youmans

Marly on Facebook
Twitter: @marlyyoumans

Editor’s Note: This poem’s nod to Icarus calls to mind notes of Auden’s “Musée des Beaux Arts,” as well as Brueghe’s “Landscape with the Fall of Icarus,” while also drawing the reader into modern times. The imagery is no less striking, but somewhat more violent (gun, cocked, harrowed).

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