Friday, November 1, 2013

Scales of Time

Here's a bit of poetry I wrote in about twenty minutes while my kids were eating lunch.  Hope you enjoy!  Or not, because it's not the most cheerful thing in the world.  I'm just hoping you'll consider it for a little while.

Scales of Time

Image courtesy of Tactician/
Seconds stretch on, seemingly to infinity
as you await the dreaded news, clinging to hope.
You feel the shadow of death lurking about you
as your own mortality becomes a stark reality.

Days fly by in a whirlwind, blending
one into the other as the joys of a life
fulfilled elevate you above the clouds
and you feel, for the moment, invincible.

Weeks drift into months, months to years
and part of you wonders where it all goes.
The limitless possibilities the once lay before you
dwindle bit by bit, so you reflect on the good things.

Then a century has passed, in which generations
rose and fell, each with their own joys and sorrows.
Some continue and with memories of you, but that
will also turn to ash as time marches relentlessly on.

Centuries turn into millennia as the drumbeat of
the universe keeps on, marking the rise and fall
of entire civilizations now, heedless of how many lives
have crumbled beneath its heavy, uncaring feet.

Epochs have passed us by now, and no one even
recalls much of the species from whence you came,
never mind the choices you once made with such care
and deliberation, for they were everything to you.

The steady beat of time will wear away all you know
and will ever know until it is dust, such is the harsh
reality of it all, regardless of your feelings about it,
or any protests you may launch on your behalf.

Yet, if anything, this is not cause for despair.
Odds to the contrary, for you are the result of
countless choices made by your ancestors before,
you are here now, and thus can make the best of it.

Live for now, do what you can to make life better
for those around you, for though it will all turn to dust
that will never obliterate the fact the you were once here
and in spite of some rough patches along the way,
you were happy.


  1. I have an upcoming blog post with a similar theme. Sort of. Yours ends on a more optimistic note, I think. Well done. :-)

  2. Nicely done. I didn't think it was depressing -- your last couple of verses were quite upbeat.

    All our lives are transient and finite, as is every aspect of the universe around us. People, places, planets, stars, galaxies, and perhaps even the universe itself -- they all have a life cycle. They all are here and then gone. It's simply part of the rhythm of the the universe.

    "Good health" is really just "dying at the slowest possible rate," for each of us are on that inevitable path. But it is a path that is also filled with wonder and joy and opportunity and the amazing ability to touch the lives of those around us; to love and to be loved; to remember and to be remember.

    I choose to believe that just because life is short does not make it meaningless, and that just because death is inevitable does not make it the end.

  3. It was certainly thought-provoking, but I agree that it ended on an uplifting note. We should make the most of what we have now, not waste it, because it's all we have in the end.