The Icarus of Craft


Flying high is easy enough to accomplish
if your wings are pilfered feathers and waxwork.
The sky welcomes you,
invites you to drift among clouds
kissed by sunlight,
whispering winds sing your praises
in glad hopes that you will reside skyward.

Seeking the warmth of praise
to bask and bathe in, you beat
wings stolen in bits from others -
pins, semiplumes and bristles from one source,
filoplumes and contours from others,
with down taken at your leisure,
held together with the bee’s hard work.
You soar on purloined support
taking their praise as your own
until you soar too high,
too close to viability
and it all unravels,
the higher they brought you,
the faster they leave you
until plummeting earthward
is your only recourse.

Past mistakes are never so far away
that they cannot bite you on the butt,
yet if honesty were your only policy
you would never have to concern yourself
with recalling exactly what was yours
and what was not.

When you hit the waves
that will mask your grave,
ask yourself if it was worth it
while giving yourself excuses
stolen from somewhere else.

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