• By John Barnes

Displeasure Fills Your Darkened Eyes


Daedalus and Icarus (1625) - Anthony van Dyck

Displeasure fills your darkened eyes and colors your stern lips.

I see you walk into the room, your slippers softly tread

The wooden floor-- my beating heart chills as a teardrop drips

Down my pale cheek and lands upon the book I read.

You come: my hopes are pinned upon the burning midday sun

Seeking freedom on soaring wings of feathers glued with wax,

But as I near the shores of Greece the gum begins to run

And I have no defense against Apollo’s swift attacks.

My father sees me faltering and tries to catch my fall

Calling, “Brave Icarus! To me!” But my frail labored wings

Are melting fast, feathers fall and my complexion palls.

Crashing into the ocean's depths, I hear my father’s screams

Of pain: to lose his only son when freedom was so close.

The hand of Neptune takes my life and sorrow is my blackened rose.


John Barnes, author of 3 books of poetry: The Desert City and Other Poems (2005), Seashell Sandy’s Dreams (2006) and A String of Pearls (2007) all on Lulu Press. His work has appeared in Minotaur, Poets at Moonspinners and Afterthoughts.