by Ken Sanes
sits beyond the edge of time
and looks back
at the world
as it undergoes a change.
She looks back
and sees a succession
of cities and
as each one
is at the center of history,
then fades away and disappears.
She sees the procession of the seasons
and the stages of life,
to the passions of youth,
to the quieter pleasures
and pains of age.
And she sees men
who grab their moment
and make history,
invading women’s bodies,
and the territory of their neighbors,
or piercing the flesh of enemies in war,
in a continuous dance of power and death.
Later, she sees the sequel
as histrionic rulers inherit the family line
and try to bolster a fraying empire,
amid palace intrigue, seduction,
and poisoned dinners,
from their place on the couch.
The librarian observes the rhythm of all this,
punctuated by rise and fall.
She acts as a witness,
to the unfolding of many lives
and reflects on what she sees.
But mostly she keeps everything in order
and catalogues the ages,
to facilitate retrieval.
The result is a compendium
with a place for outposts on the frontier
that protect the empire from barbarians
as they test for points of vulnerability
and try to break in from the other side;
a place for unearthing buried temples
under modest stone structures;
and a place for the sense of surprise
at how similar people are
in other times and places.
In fact, it is primarily her work
that makes it possible to display the past
in the imagination like a diorama
and refer to the idea of history.
She is like an eye of the mind,
scanning the forward edge of time
observing silently as the world becomes.
Poems About Life: Homepage
You are welcome to send me an email at
letters at kensanes.com
Copyright © 2010-2013 Ken Sanes