Time was Dead

it was only a dream,
but it lay there bleeding,
battered and concussed,
fallen off its racing steed,
they say in a few minutes
it quietly perished,
but then if it never was,
how could they tell;

time was dead,
was never alive,
all that had ever happened,
all that ever would,
no longer linear,
no longer strung together,
scattered like murmurs
in the dry embrace of an archaic wind;

it was only a dream,
but nothing mattered,
but nothing changed,
there was no today or tomorrow,
there was your one breath,
warm against my cheek,
unmoving,
unthinking,
there was not even now;

it was only a dream,
with no morning,
to shake it awake,
just the silence,
watching over undulating space,
nothing changed,
nothing watched time,

except a million watches,
their hearts still beating,
no longer counting,
no longer counting down,
what does a clock measure
in the static quiet,
it was only a dream,
that perhaps was never,
that would last forever;

but time was dead,
your one last breath
warm against my cheek.

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32 thoughts on “Time was Dead

  1. Very interesting premise with this, & some nice word smithing–I liked the lines /scattered like murmurs/in the dry embrace of an archaic wind/. But I got a little lost as to whose elegy this was, albeit it was only a dream. You started with “he”, the rider, & closed with “your last breath”–so as Zen & ethereal as this was, I rattled around in it a bit.

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    1. Thanks Glenn, didn’t write it for that prompt, so wasn’t looking at it as an Elegy. This was part inspired by a video I watched on Quantum theory about “Time” as we know it not being real or relevant. Was utterly fascinating.

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  2. as we walk on time’s path once that was reality becomes a dream/illusion…even if a dream became reality it would become a dream/ illusion once we move forward towards future…i can’t even think of the moment when time ceases to exist..may be when “I” perishes? the last stanza made me think of a frozen time of happiness and sorrow both….

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    1. There are quantum scientists who postulate that time is not real and it makes for a fascinating view of the universe, true or not. But in a way I think you’re totally right, if there was no time as we now understand it, no future, then there would be absolutely no need for the “I”. That is an interesting correlation Sumana, that I would love to explore more!

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  3. LoVe this! Impossible for humans, with our hearts tick tick ticking, to live without any sense of linearity. And so I loved how you drew the contrast: “scattered like murmurs / in the dry embrace of an archaic wind.” We need the anchors, and are lucky if one of them is that soft breath … These are the existential moments when we see the truth under the terminal screens that make the arc of our lives possible.

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    1. Beautifully put Susan.. we do need anchors in our vision of linearity. What would be do as just matter with no sense of duration of our own existence. I find the concept utterly fascinating like living in a completely imagined dimension.

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  4. it was only a dream,
    but nothing mattered,
    but nothing changed,
    there was no today or tomorrow,
    there was your one breath

    I am literally speechless..!! So well done 😀

    Lots of love,
    Sanaa

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  5. at first reading this felt like a poem of endings but I also read is as the timeless moment – the one we are supposed to live in but get distracted from our mediation by the tick of the clock – especially love the idea of time “laying there bleeding
    battered and concussed,
    fallen off its racing steed”

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh this is a great poem of contemplation…

    all that had ever happened,
    all that ever would,
    no longer linear,
    no longer strung together,
    scattered like murmurs
    in the dry embrace of an archaic wind;

    I think life is like that…especially if we try and live in the moment!

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