Monday, January 16, 2006

Time takes time

Time, Time (9/11/90)

"Look to the fields
of withered grass,
bent with wind
and bleached by sun.
"Look to the ancient oaken tree
with gnarled trunk
and stretched out limbs.
"Look to the starlight twinkles
far, far away, away
deep in the blacknight sky.
"Look to the waves on the ocean;
and imagine when they'll reach
the farthest shore, then - lashing back -
begin their long return.
"And think! dear child,
of the generations
that have come before -
how many, how varied.
"Think of the nameless numbers,
and the numberless faces,
each with a smile or frown,
or some such gesture,
and each a history.
"Think of what language
each might have spoken.
They all have done so,
through the years
throughout the years.
"And they have dreamed of you,
some vaguely, some concretely.
Some vision of you has endured,
has prospered and declined,
inspired and despaired,
but mostly has delighted.

"And today you have arrived!"

The old man creaked
as he sat himself down on the step.
I could not understand his speech,
it's meaning: this dance of spirits,
which to him appeared as so familiar.
He settled his body and turned his face toward me,
with a crinkle in his lip and a small tear in his eye.
(I would guess it was Joy he portrayed in this manner, or
Hope; but there was so much in even such a simple seeming that
I almost dare not attempt to interpret its intention.)

"Time takes time," he said. "That's all! -
Remember: Time takes time!" ...


BrightStar said...

Is this a poem you wrote? I'd like to read it a few more times. It reminds me of a Ben Folds song that is called "Time." Even though the lyrics are totally different, conceptually they are similar, as the song says, "Time takes time you know..."

ArticulateDad said...

Yeah, I wrote it. My dad once wrote a poem "to myself as an old man," or something like that. He was in college at the time, as I recall. I like to think of my former self as an old friend I call upon now and again. Sometimes he tells me things I've forgotten.

BrightStar said...

That's a good point -- how former selves can teach us about where we've been.