"Only when a man's life comes to its end in prosperity
dare we call that man happy." —Aeschylus
"It's knowing what to do with things that counts." —Robert Frost
Eager to breakfast on the gamey meat
sequestered in the hapless turtle's shell
the eagle rose hundreds of feet in the air
till it saw that rock moving along the sand.
When the rock stopped at water's
edge the raptor opened its talons:
Like a cold-blooded scion of Icarus
the reptile fell from the sky.
Direct hit! The bird chosen by Zeus
to bear Ganymede to Mt. Olympus
dove to the beach, ready to ravage
the flesh of its disarmored prey.
Poor player (dazed; but carapace intact)
was hobbling toward the wine-dark sea.
The Father of Tragedy lay still as stone,
blood dripping from his hairless head.
The disappointed king of the broken dawn
seized its meal and climbed skyward again:
stubborn shell dangling from stubborn claws
wiser eyes searching shore for truer grit.