Wednesday, 2 April 2014


“What then is time? If no one asks me, I know what it is. If I wish to explain it to him who asks, I do not know.” - Saint Augustine

We are constantly aware of time’s passage and we speak of it endlessly. We have it on our hands, or we waste it, we double it, mark it, value it, share it, limit it, find it, save it, flex it, kill it, lose it, take it, have it, bide it, keep it perfectly, run out of it. We are sometimes ahead of it, sometimes behind. We speak of things time-tested, timeworn or time-honoured. We have time in bombs, zones, capsules, lines, sheets, exposures, charts and calendars…

“Time brings healing” said Euripides, and it does in fact heal both physical, as well as psychic wounds. It teaches us to be patient, gives us a past and a history to draw upon, a present to savour and a future with potential and promise. Time can be frustratingly miserly, as when it doles out pleasure, giving us only happy moments. And all of this without us fully comprehending what time really is…

Poetry Jam this week is all about time. We were enjoined to consider time in all of its nuances when writing our poem. Here is mine:

Tempus Edax Rerum*

Infinite Time forever rushing forth

You run, you never stop, never to die.
In, out, unendlessly you weave a cloth,
A wily web in which we fall and helpless lie.

Time, tireless traveller, you never tarry

Unheeding to our cries of: “Mercy, stop!”
You hurry forward and Death you carry
His sickle sharp and ready for the crop.

Unending Time, the one without beginning,

How weak we be, if we should try to fight!
You only can the victor be, forever winning;
Glory for you, Time, fame and light; for us an endless night.

Even the strong you break as forth inexorably you fly;

Time in the end only surviving, all other things to die.

*(Latin [from Ovid’s “Metamorphoses” 15, 234-236: = "Time, devourer of all things")


  1. Powerful words and great images. The picture you paint is majestic and full of life. Love this.

  2. You have painted a ruthless portrait of Time, a mighty devourer indeed. We certainly have no power over It, except to make the most of it.

  3. we can only make some meaningful use of time and be happy..

  4. Yes indeed, in the end TIME is the only survivor. He and his mighty sickle. All are eventually reaped, as he cannot be slowed down or stopped. There is no fighting the mighty blade. He outlives all. Excellent poem, Nick!

  5. So many factors that it controls. You can never win with time as a challenger.......well, I wouldn't like to arm wrestle it!!

  6. A rather bleak view of time (and memento mori) in this sonnet, Nicholas...

  7. Thought-provoking piece... thank you.

  8. Intense, insightful and (as Laurie mentioned) thought provoking.

  9. i like your theme of time the victor, and also the quote you shared with us from St Augustine

    much love...

  10. Beautiful metaphors in this poem that harks back to older times.

  11. Well-composed - a thoughtful response to the prompt. I liked the opening lines of your stanzas with their parallelism.

  12. An excellent write. Intense, and you crafted it with momentum so that I felt that zephyr of time rushing past :-)

  13. Time is indeed stopping it...well done.