fear of heights


was it Icarus
or the Empire State
melting heat,
or the nickel1 dropped
from a thousand feet
falling scares
but doesn’t hurt
it’s the stop
so sudden,
that’s the worst.
Perhaps, perhaps
the fear is just
no law says
that a man fly must.

Why do some think
where greatness lies
in aiming at stars?
Do they fear the dark?
Will they conquer the night?
Are they never hungry?
Do they honestly think
one can really eat light?

  1. dropping something from a thousand feet (Empire State building is approximately 1,200 feet high) could be hazardous. []
Dr T.P. Wilkinson writes, teaches History and English, directs theatre and coaches cricket between the cradles of Heine and Saramago. He is also the author of Church Clothes, Land, Mission and the End of Apartheid in South Africa. Read other articles by T.P..