Time Stops Here

Angled feathers cut rippling wounds through the water
Where edges bleed with the dark, webbed memory of its veins.
No diaphanous boundary converts weary wanderer to dark invader,
Yet the air welcomes my visit with the rustling bow of the trees
And the bleak, icy song of the wind that croons,
“Welcome. Here, time is but a legend, so stay as long as you like.”

The distant, beastly roar of combustion brushes away the remnants of autumn
Rhythmic chants of metal wheels weep for the long-gone mists of steam
Savage fiends of grime and rust, reeking of blood, traverse through the city –
A mobile web of wayward souls driven on, mechanical, for want of gold.
Unceasing sound, the steady pulse of the world I left.

Slabs of wood and metal mesh together on the borders of the lake,
Blinking, breathing, begging to be observed.
I sit, a disembodied spirit
In the avenue where realms barely touch.
There is no forever, only now. For time is but a sound
I make with my tongue.

Then splash – a scaled occupant leaps and glistens, winking:
Here, we do not flow; here, we do not rage. Here, we simply are.
A plunge and he is gone, to mingle with the hollow darkness below,
Hollow with the quiet screams of obscurity.

She beckons to me – Come
The vast, shimmering eye of enchantment.
I wonder if she knows, like a kindred soul,
Propelling the messenger, welcomes me home
Glances upon my features in a solemn hum of a requiem
For now, at last, I shall be one of them.

Joyce Rachelle spent her childhood in the Philippines where she published All the Lines, an anthology of traditional poems, and Sewing Figs, a story in verse. Venturing further into the world of fiction, she later wrote her first novel, The Language of Angels. She lives in Surrey in England and divides her time between hospital work and writing.

Photo by: Ana Prundaru