Dreams of Flight

Dreams of Flight  (Sonnet Crown + Reprise)

I
When all attempts at flight just end in “can’t,”
with noses windward, knees of black and blue,
the only recourse left is to recant;
admit the laws of gravity are true.
But others soar a stratospheric arc!
How blessed are they to watch the earth recede.
And yet for those earth-bound, the view is stark,
and hope alone will not fulfill the need.

What cruel adjudicator of our fate
should choose who’s born with wings and who with paws?
What discipline permits us to relate
impersonal but universal laws?

The dreams of flight do little to supplant
confinement to this dusty low secant.

II
Confinement to this dusty low secant
itself should not preclude a happy life.
But some are predisposed to whine and rant.
Their choice to foment pain and augur strife
ensures the path just turns a darker dark,
where even those who try to use their gifts
find dampened tinder won’t accept a spark.
Such efforts only serve to widen rifts.

So blinded, then, by raging jealousy,
that even if our skills should raise the dead,
then speaking out of total honesty,
we’d choose the more mundane effect instead.

A heavy, darkened heart will not apprise
the miracles we work, in our own eyes.

III
The miracles we work, in our own eyes
do not appear to be worth much at all.
In retrospect, they’re more akin to lies,
enchantments, and in truth they are banal,
are rubbish, lacking substance, will not last.
And even if they suit another’s need
they’re lifeless vain reminders of the past
which tarnish as vague memories recede.

So arms which could have resurrected hope
and point another toward a rising star
instead are made to vainly flap or grope,
like who we wish to be, not who we are.

Conclusions that we know our past implies,
conceited with the future, we don’t prize.

IV
Conceited with the future, we don’t prize
abilities we know that we possess.
They atrophy, while haughty mocking skies
stare back, and we are wont to dispossess
the pyramids and sphinxes of our past.
The world views them with wonderment, and they
should give a sense of self-esteem to last
but fail, somehow, to keep the dark at bay.

There comes a sense of wonder, does there not?
The eagle, peering down must think us dumb,
but is he satisfied with what he’s got?
Or does he rue the lack of working thumb?

We cannot pick. No matter how we mourn,
we do not choose our dreams, they’re softly born.

V
We do not choose our dreams, they’re softly born
where fantasies and follies might collide
and flutter wingless downward in the morn,
the love-child unexpected come betide
of water and the spirit in our heart.
Then reared within the arms of Meant-to-be
While flitting moths keep watch, and minnows dart.
Then weaned on solid food of Wait-and-see.

The universe falls hushed a moment yet
while destiny unveils the work she’d sewn
like some heroic and eternal bet…
then prince or princess Dream ascends the throne.

There is no fear to feel while blood stays warm,
but if abilities do not conform.

VI
But if abilities do not conform,
despite all hope to nurture aptitude
with certain deviations from the norm,
anticipating future attitude,
then disappointment’s destined from the start.
The prince will surely never gain the throne.
The threaded tapestries all fall apart
the princess shall a-spinster all alone.

But no, no fatal crash nor grand decree
accompanies the dying of a dream
for what once was, just simply ceased to be
at most, perhaps, tears trickle in a stream.

No answers, then, we’re left to wonder why,
when we can’t use the limbs we have to fly.

VII
When we can’t use the limbs we have to fly,
no parting gift, or hope for better days,
no recompense, or “someday” left to buy,
but somehow life proceeds in hoary haze,
there’s naught to do but shake them at the sky.
From whence the cursed edict emanates:
“Fix leaden feet to earth, where dead things lie.”
Don’t ponder motives deep or speculate.

No matter how the chalice overflows
or what Divinity has filled the cup
if it is not the beverage that you chose,
you’re more than justified to turn it up.

The future, then, has nothing left to grant,
When all attempts at flight just end in “can’t.”

Reprise:
When all attempts at flight just end in “can’t,”
but others soar a stratospheric arc,
confinement to this dusty low secant
ensures the path just turns a darker dark.

The miracles we work in our own eyes
are rubbish, lacking substance, will not last.
Conceited with the future, we don’t prize
the pyramids and sphinxes of our past.

We do not choose our dreams, they’re softly born
of water and the spirit in our heart.
But if abilities do not conform,
then disappointment’s destined from the start.

When we can’t use the limbs we have to fly
there’s naught to do but shake them at the sky.

by Kenn Henry, 2014

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