In the dark tower at the top
A single light, dull glowing red
The tower is darker than the night
The lower buildings round the edge
Cluster in shadow from the red
The hunting waver of an owl
Behind the avenue of dead trees
Wakens a movement in the sedge
And slithering through the hidden ditch.
The moths have gathered round the light
And something old is not yet dead.
Time, our young friend and enemy
Writing we cannot erase
Though written on tablets that may crumble
And in a metre we find strange
The ship is down, we cling to you
The waves around, the water cold
And we were young, and we are old.
If I should meet what I have feared
Lit by the red light from the tower,
If opening the hidden case
I should not find another hour
But something strange I knew before
Recalling marks on that dull door
I shall be ready for time and space.
A golden clock stands on a marble shelf
The intricate workings move at even speed
If I should throw it far in a great arc
Into the waters of the silent lake
What would I think I was, what would I be?
Lianas interlink the blossoming trees
Inside the green confusion all birds sing
And shivering trills with low, slow warbles mix
And touch and mingle, wing to leaf to wing.
copyright Simon Banks 2012