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the stage of time

The Stage of Time

Waiting in the prison of time
For turnkey to unlock my cell--
Studying walls of cage I’m in,
Glittering alleys stretch before my
Tainted vision; with jaded eyes
I witness life of the world.

Gone now, innocent youth,
What follows innocence but
More of the same in
Different costume?

You can’t take a part from the whole
And expect what is left to stand without it.
You may shuffle the parts,
Turnkey
Just said so through the bars while he looked
At his watch and shook his head
Which meant that I would do another
Day in the hands of time.

I foolishly asked him once if I would
Know when my sentence was come to its end,
He looked at me with the queerest askance I
Had ever seen and never seen since,
With a laugh that was nearly a smirk of kindness,
I realized he had no idea whatever.

I asked him for a weekend pass or if I could
have a word with the script writer of this
Absurd play we all are in.
All he did was laugh for a year and a
Day.

I can hear him laughing still, long,
Varied, and musical; laugh of a child
At play, laugh of unrequited love,
Just before tears flow--
Demonic laughter of a deranged soul
Caught in hideous dream trying
Desperately to waken from it; soft laughter,
Long guffaws, chortles, and snickers.
He ended in an amused giggle that told me he had
Learned something I already knew--
I wasn’t going to get to speak face to face with
Director of this play until the last line of
The last act, until last curtain falls,
Until din of final standing ovation
Is silent and theatre patrons
Are gone from the hall.
I will trundle
Down silent vomitoria to my dressing room
Where finally the door to cell of time is open,
Where turnkey sits sipping his favourite poison,
From a silver cup engraved with logo of time.

Style / type: 
Free verse
Review Request (Intensity): 
I want the raw truth, feel free to knock me on my back
Last few words: 
I wrote this about 25 years ago, but it still seems current, and applicable to now, so I brought it out, dusted it off. There you have it.

Comments

just a couple of very tiny things...
'Studying walls of cage I’m in,'
'From a silver cup engraved with logo of time.'
- i think both of these lines need a 'the'
i know how some are loath to use it too much... but i think these lines read strangely without it

'Where finally the door to cell of time is open'
maybe 'to my cell of time'?

'Learned something, that I already knew--'
i'd drop the 'that'

an awesome write victor
what i'm coming to expect of you
love judy
xxxx

'Each for the joy of the working, and each, in his separate star,
shall draw the Thing as he sees It, for the God of Things as They are.'
(Rudyard Kipling)

Judy, my dear,

I agree with the 'that', and I will take it out, but as for the definite article 'the' I use it with great discretion, and 'the' was left out in the lines quite intentionally.

Thank you so much for the read and suggestions.

Ciao,

Victor

"When a pickpocket meets a holy man all he sees are his pockets."

Unknown (at least to me)

author comment

Sorry to but in, why do you avoid use of " the "? Just curious.....scribbler

Thank you, Shirley.

You are a wonderful support~!

Love,

Victor

"When a pickpocket meets a holy man all he sees are his pockets."

Unknown (at least to me)

author comment

Rosina,

You pretty much nailed it with your interpretation.

Thank you.

Ciao,

Victor

"When a pickpocket meets a holy man all he sees are his pockets."

Unknown (at least to me)

author comment

"Down silent vomitoria to my dressing room
Where finally the door to cell of time is open,
Where turnkey sits sipping his favourite poison,
From a silver cup engraved with logo of time."

This is great stuff, the potency of its poison is
sensed and even tasted!

"I witness life of the world." why do I want :The life?

"I wasn’t going to get to speak face to face with
Director of this play until the last line of
The last act, until last curtain falls,
Until din of final standing ovation" .....again the the's are not here: the director/the last line etc.

And here "Where turnkey sits sipping his favourite poison," ....either the turnkey or Turnkey as someone. Not sure who that is I must look it up perhaps I am ignorant of something all young people know about, old fogey!!!

Yours with love Ann.

"The image of yourself which you see in a mirror Is dead,
but the reflection of the moon on water, lives." Kenzan.

Thank you, Ann -- very much,

I do not vilify the use of definite articles in prose at all, but in poetry I eschew them whenever possible. They are left out quite diligently, and absolutely on purpose. Readers of my work often lament their absence in my poetry, but I choose each word that I do use with great care, and likewise ones that I leave out are also left out with great care.

A turnkey is one who holds the keys to locked cells.

Thank you very much for your read, and thoughtful comments.

Ciao,

Victor

"When a pickpocket meets a holy man all he sees are his pockets."

Unknown (at least to me)

author comment

I agree with you Victor, one should always be super-caution about "the"s and "and"s, but I have to agree with some of the previous comments, you might consider using "the" in one or two places...unless your intent is to skew meaning in an odd way for deliberate effect, in which case ignore my comment!

Sometimes a re-write obviates the need for "the", though:

"I wasn’t going to get to speak face to face with
Director of this play until the last line of
The last act, until last curtain falls,"

"I would not get to speak face to face
With this play's Director, until the last line of
The last act, until Last Curtain fell,"

Perhaps?

A good write.

Respectfully, Jim

"Laws and Rules don't kill freedom: narrow-minded intolerance does" - Race-9togo

http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Race_9togo

Jim,

Thank you for the read and comments.

Victor

"When a pickpocket meets a holy man all he sees are his pockets."

Unknown (at least to me)

author comment

I read this as being imprisioned by time in a life of regret, if I misread it will hardly be the first time......scribbler

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