Tempo Poco a Poco

Each day, hour twenty-four gives one a rough time,
Piercing the illusion that there is enough time.

Sand in a voluptuous glass scours our hearts.
What hard, violent, rushing, unfeeling stuff, time!

Manage it. Curse it. Dance about it. Divide it.
The truth yet remains: you can never rebuff time.

For a moment, it hovers. For a year, it flees.
Tempus fugit, tempus cessat. None can slough time.

At the end of our days, full of sorrow and praise,
That silent watchman stands atop the great bluff: Time.

Photo: Giant Rolex, Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, Fairfax County, Virginia, April 2011.

Canticum Vitae

By what mystery does a man become alive?
With whose grace and power does his heart drum “alive”?

Strive. Flail. Drive. Rail. Keep afloat amid the wreckage.
Not one day can we add to keep the sum alive.

Sin and sorrow; today, tomorrow, tear and burn
Thought, sinew, bone, barely leaving some alive.

Love and mercy, justice, thanks and praise demanded
To be real, not a burdened, sallow bum alive.

Out of hope, out of joy, out of peace, out of strength;
A soul cannot remain on but a crumb alive.

Dare he remove the shroud, nameless horror beheld?
Stare it down, be still found with those who come alive?

Despair never keeps him who dies to be reborn.
Death’s defeater knows who to wrest you from alive.