Of Time and Existence

Tomorrow I have an exciting post for you but today I thought I would share this.

I put this together before Christmas when I thought I wouldn’t be ready for a Christmas card post. In the event I had manged to put the angel bookmark cards together and photograph them but since I have the post I thought I would share it anyway!

 I was thinking maybe I would share some more of my poetry.

These were written years ago when poetry was my main creative outlet. But maybe I feel they still have something to say.

In my earlier post I explained how the first poem won the prize for best School Magazine entry.

Well the first of the poems below also got into the school magazine and would have won the prize except that they asked me if I minded if they gave it to someone else as I had won the previous year. Isn’t that sweet? As I spent most of my school life being thought little of and my parents never liked my poems I think this should have surprised me more than it did.


On time’s infinitesimal isthmus now – we stand
With all our lives set out on either hand:
the past in mists receding – future hid.

What is this life of ours but a fruitless dream,
A hand in the dark that grasps a moonbeam,
An endless journey without stop or stay?

Nothing exists but continuity – which stays
A golden chain that links the hours and days,
the shinning thread of life that Clotho spins.

Life lives in the labyrinth of memory and dreams;
Each thought however real or passing seems
Is but the echo of a distant sigh.

Existence is in all the time through which we live
But presence which we to each instant give
Abides not long enough – to say “I’m here.”

To God all of time is now;
To us as no time at all.

This was written in the Summer of 1965. The following Summer I wrote another poem with a similar theme.


Time passes like the wind and we stand bound;
More firmly held than ropes or chains can bind;
More surely than by bars encompassed round.

The tree puts forth its buds, the brown leaves fall,
Time’s wheel turns, eternal revolution;
For time is change, mutation, and decay.

The seasons’ cycle, changing, always the same.
Yet time does not return, but ripple like
Spreads undulating to infinity.

Death pierces time, children torn from the womb,
We plunge in to the unknowable void,
And all the things that lie beyond our dreams.

Time moves quicker than we can understand;
The seconds like flashes of lightning pass
And as the cliffs the years crumble away.

Inevitable, inexorable.
Who can halt time’s swift approach?
Or make one second’s space endurable?

That same summer I also tackled the question of the nature of our existence. Containing a little teenage angst perhaps. Thought I didn’t meet the existentialists till years later.


I did not exist,
But now I am,
And so forever,

So it is with you,
But not the same.
We are separate,

I do not know you;
You know not me.
Why am I not you? Nor you I?

What is this barrier
Like the cell wall,
That keeps us apart,

We are like snowflakes,
Thousand, thousands,
All are different,
Yet alike.

Lone and lonely,
whom no-one ever

There is perhaps an answer to the above in the last poem I will share today, written during the following summer and called –


A kiss
pulsing vibrating
you I
not you, not I

I wonder if I should go back to writing poetry but I have never been good at writing to order. When I was young poems just happened!

8 thoughts on “Of Time and Existence

  1. Lovely poems. In several writing classes I learned poems don’t need to rhyme and they can also be a pouring of heart-felt or thought-provoking statements. Well done!


      1. I think you should definitely write more poems!!! I´m profoundly impressed by your talent with words and ai could never at 47, achieve what you could as a teenager!!!!


  2. With a new member of our family joining us this Christmas, ‘Being’ rang a wonderful bell. I liked that the best. Keep writing.


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