Daedalus Resurrected After the Armageddon

Mosul on My Mind

Note: The poem and sculpture were created together and are of a piece. They were submitted for publication in Studio B’s annual ekphratic (art-literary) project , in 2019 themed “Wabi-Sabi.” A picture of the sculpture was included in the book, but not the poem. The actual piece was included in the show at Studio B. I can’t fault the editor of the book. The poem is quite long and complex, not really in keeping with the wabi-sabi theme. Just for fun, I included at the bottom of this page a short video appearing to show the vivification of the encaustic wings on my work table. In this posting, I’ve corrected a couple of factual errors that crept into the original poem.

By Jay Ressler

With bells and bellbottoms
On a day 54 years before
Cher did Sonny wed.
On another day,
Four centuries past
Mughal subcontinent’s Akbar,
Librarian and great warrior prince,
Celebrator of widest culture bar,
Gasped His last.

On this day today*
Mosul born Fadhel al-Badri
To the world said,
“Music is My life”
Adored as he might a wife,
Violin and oud he unhid
Under secret lid
With safety and solice
From I.S. Morality Pol-ice.

On this day Mosul
Danced to Vivaldi at last
And to sounds from their own past.
‘Twasn’t the Day the Music Died
‘Twas the dawn when it revived.
Culture was never killed
In secret it still thrilled
Despite brutal drill
Of the Islamic State
To rub it from the slate.

I.S. is almost no more,
I.S. has fully lost the war.
Flowers of Peace did explode
When from out of Baghdad
The Farabi Orchestra of Peace
Did from the capital city release
To honor the women and men
From the other side
Who, in the gloom,
I.S. pushed to their doom.

Under boot for longest months
A Center of gangster’s viperization
In their Nest of Desecration
Mosul is now free.

Liberated on the ground by
Peshmerga warriors sharing
Ferocity of Baghdad’s men.
Added to the throng
Female Peshmerga
Mastering the deadly stead
With Commander Khatoon Khider
Singing in the lead
With 500 beside her
Of the Sun Ladies Brigade
Who, with their angry Arms,
Ain’t no Sunday Ladies Aid.

Their heroism unleashed
Great chagrin
From the Lord of the Ottomin.
Corduene, The Kurdish Home,
Divided and Plundered
By empires Great and small
For centuries long asundered.

Retaking their place yard-by-yard
And House-by-House
Ten Thousand Kurds died
To set the people free.
While Yankee flying machines
Brutalized and Ruble-ized West Bank hovels
On the workers ancient labyrinthines
Demanding many to flee
To Return only with rebuilding shovels.

There again the Deplorables,
Are Despised
By I.S. and Grand Empires alike
Likened to the deadly virus.
Rents Eastside of Old Tigris,
Whence bombers did not often fly,
Have Reached the sky.
For the workers and the poor,
This is too high.
For them the battle now
Is recasting lives
In their wretched hives
Brick by broken Brick,
Surviving with barely a stick.
Yet, despite this pitiful glance,
They again glory to dance.

*The Second Reading Festival at Mozul University was November 30, 2018.


Short Video of Daedalus’ Waxen Wings Coming to Life