Jonathan ROBIN (22 September / London)
If outside in is spelled E.M.I.T.
and inside out spells T.I.M.E. fit
unto the day the evil thereof see
fit to a T however played one's wit.
But what to Time is 'inside' or is 'out'?
for Time's dimension both can do without,
vain signpost vane may spin now east now west,
crow heeds no fixed road stop sign roundabout.
Thus pride precedes greed's fall, Fate far and wide
Indicts Man's might, plight sets gleams' dreams aside.
Most confidence masks weakness, sorry schemes
Ensue, Time tables turns, spurns deals inside.
Vainglorious is immaturity,
gifts mirage mirror of futility
reflecting on societal concern
defining off and on in sanity.
Some comfort find vouchsafing certainty
though blind most minds before dark door they flee,
for insecurities behind bluff masks
still smack of shameless insincerity.
What hides behind Time's trap, no map may see,
few counter fate, discover guilt edged key
of "me and thee" when once behind its veil,
what will prevail, beneath what scrutiny?
Birth - berth, worth - earth, that sweet felicity
which flashed upon the page of Destiny
one little lifetime soon is swallowed up,
archive deleted from man's memory?
Time helter-skelter headlong spins, all's rush,
"I will survive! " slays others in the crush,
Merge, surge then splurge, urge on, and then strike-out,
Ephemeral applause drowned out by hush.
From alpha unto omega Time's hum
reels strange range wheels recycling all that come
first cry, last cry, lies die, then die's recast
as harmony seeks equilibrium.
Thrust's force attraction contradictions seeks
to overcome, Time's great equation's speaks
to recreate and recombine, stem cells
flux mustered, mastered, peaks, weak wanes, then reeks.
New cycles spin, unpin past wins, address
fresh challenges, evolve, adapt, contest
tired tenets, genes rewired, force fired set scene
for stranger change, to counter maladdresses.
No sense in dwelling on vast past success,
which in itself is source for future stress,
why break sound barriers that Time instills
teach reach, brake, sense retain? More may prove less!
Term prudence "safety"? Whore's short-term success.
Interests vested, spendthrift years contest,
Modus operandi, Time Time kills,
Each icon old fresh status quo divests.
Time's Tortoise, Man is fable's Hare, confined
in mortal contradictions which the mind
finds quite unhuman, taking what it gives
what lives soon undertaken, chaff to grind.
snide greed, pride, speed, soon overcome
Is it justice? Is it balance? Those ahead soon d[r]ead behind,
Making room through swift disposals for proposals less confined,
Express need for further testing, jesting, questing, inquest dumb.
Time, tempter and preemptor, auctions choice
as bubble-gum exploding, empty voice,
one generation fades away, one more
takes cue to strut as peacock and rejoice.
What cheers have penetrated great divide
between one era and the next? what guide
avoided asteroid explosion set
to make clean sweep of chatter and tongue-tied.
Time mutates, very speedily translates
as viral spiral gyral ices cake,
spliced monky to man key plan or grave mistake,
downsizing, soon induces second states
that pace race, trace select, until the past
fast buries past's repasts, idols outcast,
no ‘Ergo cogito' shows ‘sum' in store,
all dwindles in nothingness at last.
Time destroys its own foundations, rule of thumb
Leads ever onward, vicious spiral scrum,
where one way trip soon rips predispositions
without concession, tic-toc blocked, locked, dumb.
Intuition tunes to pattern ducts intelligence designed.
Mankind must forward press, and quickly, or its mainspring may unwind,
Ever onward, tripping, hasty, vicious forward spiral-scrum.
Time, true master of new master, swift may slave of slave become,
In a twinkling of an eyelid, with an inkling of the mind,
Most by wayside fall, and falling fail to rise, we seldom find
Each with grief reach silver lining welcome, wheel spins go and come.
Time, prestidigitator, spurns prestige,
sand grains drain, Time, replenished stands the seige,
when boom goes bust dust tomb entrusts low, great,
rebuilds from scratch big bang hatch, scorns vestiges.
Time's zenith ride descendant has prepared,
mutes bugle's rally cry round cause compared
to none as pendulum against itself is swung,
hung, drawn and quartered, preconceptions pared.
What footprints may be gleaned from sands of Time,
what idylls and what odysseys to rhyme
may be retained as in an amber bubble,
what climb, what fall, what forfeiture, what crime?
From timely opportunities some draw
conclusions which confusion turn when more
is known or shown of causal wheel or karmic churn
which burns or freezes, frieze all still ignore.
Time, excellent musician, drummer, drum,
is clay, pot, playful potter, part and sum,
fobs off mocked mortals puny pleas and adds
where it subtracts, leaves fiction, facts, both numb.
Evanescent, effervescent matrix grid,
vibrates through tuning fork in road well hid
from sight and insight, secret intertwined
with second-thoughts which time distorts unbid.
Time, both predator and dater, turns the bread
of life to crumbs, life's water ices, - sped
past hope for scope in halter's halted, while,
Time onward flies, belying time well fed.
Magician fly, man's pyramids remind
our power, pomp pain hour stomp, romp turns to rind,
blossom blows, Time, heedless flows, drip, drip,
pips toast at post, tips, slips, - grain grist to grind.
Time knows no evil, coeval is with all,
withal is none, as naught, both call, recall,
pride, fall, low, tall, slow, fast, at last remains
as silent witness, stage, play, box and stall.
Tempus fugit, Time is flying, soon we're dust,
is it dying? is it buying time? Earth's crust
plays little part forcasting lava flow
when time is up, it still observes, non-plussed.
'Festina lente', 'hasten slowly', Fate
may be amused when we'd anticipate
the way the dice is rolled a turn or two,
soon ticks off guilty temptor from gilt gate.
Trust intuition, method leads astray
where narrow will or shallow leads the way,
but channelled energy may help create,
not barter aim in mind for fame today.
Contract a link between 'pretend' 'extend',
where end to means is never means to end,
where current flow is revolts and study churn
though true solutions may seem round the bend.
Invention is extension catalyzed,
or role reversal, vistas reapprized,
what complicated seemed is later seen
as simple step towards a goal disguised.
Time's tide abides while mortal meets fate which
puts final touch to an unfinished stitch,
however phrased dust back to dust returns
spites ‘lame' excuses, game of toss and pitch.
Up tick, down toc, clock witnesses spring shoots
of causal arborescence, 'right', 'wrong' roots,
with hindsight show man unpreprepared
for Past and Future playing in cahoots.
Though rhyme and reason often are withheld
till time and season pass, their winter knelled,
true timing is essential where the mind
would tap the forces from tomorrow welled.
Who would evolve must choose from many doors,
each offers either fame or blame, doom draws,
each offers health or wealth, advance or pause,
must think the link between effect and cause.
What fame is, what is doom, though, who foresees?
What choice reject, what opportunities
take for, or take as, granted, who can tell?
Time twists or undertows the flows men seize.
What matters and to whom? What gravities
apply when anti-mater equals tease?
conundrums which a life-long paradox
entertains until all memories
are atomised upon a karmic breeze,
blown willy-nilly till, like honeyed bees,
they bumble on towards a homely hive,
they stumble on till patterns by degrees
from angles wide frame focus, offer keys.
For who between the lines can read, chalk, cheese,
discerns, the waft and weft of substance, learns
to draw the line dividing wood from trees.
Life's littleness "ist alles in die Welt",
mocks Man's ambitions, motivations melt
to watershed necrologies. Black crepe
with no escape whate'er regrets are felt.
Time's muzzle muffles boast, toast, day by day,
effects' and causes' subtle interplay
through life's incessant dream theme ebb and flow
efforts prove vain, love, pain, all's bubble bray.
None may control coincidence at play
flaking dates and energy away
while winter of our discontent's stop/go
spins into vertigo, then fades away.
Self-righteous say religion shows the way,
agnostics best of both worlds want, display
their reticence as sense, pretence as plus,
few atheists would haste to piper pay.
Most blow hot, cold, quit stage to sink unheard
before they even feel life's ripples stirred,
Time can't be reined, restrained, no string and bow,
sends arrow through entanglement preferred.
Why worry what tomorrow, if at all,
may offer, laughter share, spurning wailing wall,
each wakes one day, hopes hollow, probate proved,
few follow winding sheet, trump final call.
Time's telomeres may stretch, but sands of hope,
free ride from heyday ended, broken rope
recount lost time expended, ghost mirage,
no soft soap ever smoothes, naught soothes blind grope.
Bright spark, life's candle gutters, movements cease,
one cry, heart flutters, shutters, 'Rest in Peace! '
with no surcease, one sigh then curtains drawn
while legatees bread butter, fleece, apiece.
Youth's hopes are caught in Time's relentless vice,
what opportunity's repeated twice?
Life's joke's is on Creation's head, vibes jibed,
one innings leaves all after-thoughts to lice.
So grasp the moving finger as it writes,
wait not on Time, tune tide to timing, flights
of fancy twin with opportunity
which may not seed again. Feed dream delights!
These rhymes hold no bonanza, moral plum,
Time's trick wick tireless flickers, static hum
moves forwards egg and chicken parsec plot
as we, time-stricken, quicken final strum.
(24 October 2010)
Comments about this poem (Timely Rubaiyat by Jonathan ROBIN )
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