(after Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, Bertrand Russell and the Myth of Icarus)
Monkey senses things that are invisible
to other minds. He knows that ink in a pen
can run dry, that word flows can suddenly cease,
that mechanical pencils can so easily
break down into their component parts.
New Year’s resolutions can lie broken on the gym
-nasium’s floor. Scattered on the ground, they lie
shattered, tattered like the beribboned tresses of trees,
blown blind by winter’s feverish, age old wind.
Time has grown feathers and traced
its moth flight round the candle flame.
These solar spots that beautify the moonscape wings
of the meandering moth are too hot to handle.
Suddenly, there is the scent of burning flesh,
of flimsy wings crisping, of high-flying Icarus
left roasting in the candle’s open fire. Monkey contemplates
the dry, tight wrinkles on the back of his paw.
Then he moves his hand slowly and casually through
the candle’s flame as he meditates
on the brevity of life and the multiple meanings
of an existence that precedes all essence.