On Reading an Old Diary
Time, inveterate sentimentalist,
Plucks lifeís blossoms in full bloom
And presses petals between infinite leaves.
There is no flower that ever charmed the air
That is not held in memoryís copious tome.
Yet are its pages rarely turned,
Our gardenís tillage stoops us to the soil.
But now this scant catalogue
Of distant moments spent
Guides my hand,
Disturbs the pages,
Sending that faint, lingering fragrance
Which these posies once possessed,
Wafting from their dried and faded forms,
Assailing me with longing
For their lost perfume.
But why tarry with things embalmed,
Lingering over withered joy, obsessed?
There is a garden where every flower
Tended by our loving hands,
Grows for ever, ever fair,
Sweetly scents the summer air,
And knows not death.
Poised upon the moving finger of time,
We hasten, and yet haste not,
Age, and yet age not,
Come and go as seasons shift,
Yet cast a constant shadow.
But when the moving finger halts,
And we are in that garden
Where is no blossom plucked
Nor petal pressed.
---------Ron Cretchley -------