Until Time Stops


Time goes this way and that
and always with a springy step.
Forward is one way now
and another the next,
thoughts unfurling,
turning backward without warning.

Waves break and rise and break again
until at last all voices are silent in the chilly death of one last winter,
the sand washed away to reveal that which is the only truth:

There is no one left to tend the field
and the last ray of summer sun
has died for the final time.

The Lighthouse

It stands there so tall and so quietly waiting,
the lighthouse in all of its glory.
But dark does it stay, its sad fate contemplating.
Nobody remembers its story.

Once bright shone the light pointing out at the sea.
A beacon to guide weary sailors,
lone captains or castaways drifting lonely,
the world-weary, spent navigators.

O’er all gazed the lighthouse, the hope in despair,
to tell them they were not forgotten.
The light was a hand reaching out of the veil,
rejecting none, noble or common.

It wants the company of but one man,
a caretaker kindly and true,
who maintains the signal as best as he can,
the clockwork, the lens, wicks, and fuel.

But storm clouds did gather, as black as the night,
and thunder, a deafening roaring.
They said of the lighthouse, “Its glow is too slight,
the workings in need of restoring.”

They watched the old keeper climb stairs on slow feet,
and hauling with tired, trembling hands.
They told him, “I’m sorry, you’re now obsolete.
This lighthouse will go on, unmanned.”

And so there it stayed, without e’en one true friend,
assumed to remain automatic.
But slowly all ceased, on its light to depend.
Yet still it endured, enigmatic.

Though all will forget, recollections persist
in that agèd spire so imposing.
While the old light is gone, faded into the mist,
ne’er on sea air will mem’ries stop blowing.

And Ever I Go Onward


Silent tears rolled down the boy’s face. His father laid one hand on the boy’s shoulder, gentle but firm, the other pointing into the distance.

“Where do I go?” the boy asked softly.

“Where we all must go. The journey is long and dangerous. But you are ready.”

“Why must I go alone?”

“We are all alone, my son.”

The boy tried to turn, but his father’s hand kept him firmly turned to the horizon.

“Go now, my beloved son. We will see each other again one day. Until then, look to the end, and walk, do not run, until you get there. Go. And no matter what you see or hear along the way, never look back.”

The weight of his father’s hand lifted. The boy took one step, and then another.

A dull thud echoed from behind and to the left, and the breeze carried his father’s voice, whispering the boy’s name.

“I love you, too, Father.”

The boy’s words were lost on the wind as he walked onward, his gaze never turning from the horizon.

When the World Was New

Those heady blossoms,
I can see them now!
Once, and only one more time,
I lie down
as one who knows the summer’s day is in my heart again.
How surely can one know
how and when and where and why?
Is it not the case that even
fear to tread
where hope and rays of sunlight die?

Lost to the ages
is that special time in youth
when one has dreams of knowing
that which was and is,
and that which only happened
in the mind of one who never came this way before.
Who can remember
when darkness failed to stir
the dreams of dreamers in a fantasy of dread?
The deepest recess of imagined fear
cannot be the only place where every mind and heart
recalls the emptiness that came before.

Then one day,
I fear the last but one,
it all came tumbling down around the trees in some lost garden.
Oh, to feel again!
Why does a soul shy away from pain
when pain is all that can outlast the years?

If spirits come and go,
there is nothing left to keep for any day besides tomorrow.
If only there were fears that bleed
the blood of every joyful and forgotten sorrow,
then could I guess
the end
of the one and only true beginning.
And this world could be lost
without shame,
without the guilt of doubt and tears and wonder.

There would only be the day
that comes both in the past and in the future,
when all will begin again.
but also old
for the final time
that is also the first.