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:
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,
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