|by Michael Anderson|
|Cleaning out the dark attic one night,|
I came across an old dust-covered book.
No title, no author, no copyright.
Curiosity called for a look.
I flipped the brittle pages one by one,
My eagerness had to be stinted.
Then one page made me come undone,
It appeared to be freshly printed.
Amidst faded, yellow, wrinkled pages-
Smooth, glossy, soft white and sublime,
A full-page picture chronicling the ages,
The caption only read, "Father Time".
I saw a gray-haired man in white-
Standing taller than the skies.
In his right hand he held the sun, so bright.
Yet a more prolific flame glowed in his eyes.
His body stemmed from an hourglass-
Which seemed to have no end.
One through which all eternity would pass-
And all life would descend.
A childlike innocence seemed to anoint-
The wrinkles on his face, so well defined.
His beard running sharply to a point-
Where the shades of silver shined.
His hands were boney, withered badly,
Skeleton-like and pale.
Knotted, twitch-like fingers slithered madly-
Into every tapered, sharp fingernail.
His left hand was clinched tight to a cane-
That a magic aura surrounded.
From it flew forth all wind and rain,
Through it all lightning was grounded.
I found myself lost in this picture,
Staring at it endlessly in awe.
Then it revealed more than art or literature,
I couldn't believe the things that I saw.
The old man pointed the cane towards me,
And lightning whistled passed my head.
Then with a voice quite deep, commandingly,
He stared straight at me and said;
"Time is but the dream of life,
Alas, broken into sections.
For each and all are blessed a lifetime rife-
In memories and reflections.
But you must relish what you have today,
There is no past or future for certain.
You mustn't bury your dreams in yesterday,
Or try to peek behind tomorrow's curtain."
The magic book set me marching in mirth,
It sent my spirit singing to the winds.
I knew it was of unimaginable worth,
I couldn't wait to show all of my friends.
"Slow down dear child.", the voice, again, unfurled.
"A fortune indeed I have shared.
But all the riches of your mortal world-
Won't match the merit of the words I bear.
And the dear secrets I have shared with you ,
I dare not breath to another soul.
Time lie in your hands but silence must construe,
Tell me no other human will know!"
Wealth or immortality? what a quirk!
That geezer really had me perturbed.
I halfway sighed trying to hide the smirk,
But the patriarch, now, seemed really disturbed.
Watching a tear fall from forever,
I was perpetually petrified.
He called to me but I couldn't dissever-
My voice from my inside.
It was then the old man trembled and shook-
And I came to see why it mattered.
As the golden ball fell from the book,
I cringed, watching the glass as it shattered.
He dropped the mighty staff of rain,
His arms collapsing in despair.
The white page donning a yellow stain,
As the corners started to wear.
I watched a sand fall through the hourglass,
Till by a billion others it was swallowed.
It shimmered and shined as I saw it pass,
But as I looked on, no others followed.
It was then the slowly fading vision-
Closed his dimmened eyes and died.
The consequences of my indecision-
Left me grieving inside.
And still the desires in me are burning-
To flip the page, to share his rhyme.
But frozen in a world stopped turning,
It seems there's no more Time.