Looking both ways in the New Year

Every year around the first week in January, I find myself  looking back and at the same time looking forward. Time is strange stuff – an idea I explored in the poem here: “Time the Tyrant”.

Time the Tyrant

Time the tyrant, before first light

You strap me to your wrist:

Your slave.

You tether me, hour by hour, while

Relentless, you beat

The measure of my heaving heart; while

Ceaseless, you mete

The breaths of my so labouring lungs.


Faceless, you change the landscape of my face:

Warp the planes & cleave the valleys;

Armless, you clutch me, clamp me

To your cold embrace;

Tuneless, you whistle days away

Through cogged & clicking teeth.

Legless & heedless, you lurch on, march on,

Forever indifferent.


Time, you obdurate tyrant, dire dictator,

Dawn to dusk, rain to rust,

We have no true

Defence against you

Save hope trembling, cradled

In an alien manger.


© Lizzie Ballagher

2014-09-29 12.18.23




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.