“A Timely Message” by John E. Buri

John E. Buri

A TIMELY MESSAGE

for my patient wife

If ever comes too quickly,
Leave Big Ben unwound.
Very soon the hourglass will meter grain at a time.
Even the flutter of dragonfly wings seems to lumber.
Yet we want our proverbial cake.
Our mouths are filled with the taste of someday,
Under the guise of now.
Mindless counting only causes sleep,
Running through the same gate all dream long.
Summer grass worn to brown,
Just as a pasture is overgrazed,
And the joys of a slug become apparent.
Now the sloth seems hasty.
Every moment is a passenger driven,
Yellow checkerboard cars and smooth silver trains,
Belonging to each ticket holder.
Unless our minds follow the palsied hand,
Relinquishing our seat on the non-stop,
In favor of a standby mule.

from Rattle #10, Winter 1998
Tribute to Poets in Prison