Terminus Disposed by S. E. Johnson
I stood stark still and hid beneath the eaves,
When the time keeper pushed his way through
the heavy leaves,
Leaning hard on his metallic divining rod,
Resplendent like some demigod,
Then climbed he up the winding stair,
Relieved I was that he was there.
So quietly I came behind,
In hopes to learn the truth would end in time,
When finally at the top of the stair,
I tilted my head so I might hear,
And yes he breathed a heavy sigh,,
Relieved it was not his time to die.
I watched as he crossed the great clock room,
As the distant stars drove away the gloom,
His hand across the windlass passed,
But faltered there and then I gasped,
A voice so old it may have been,
The oldest ever heard by men,
Spoke and broke the silent air.
This world is far beyond repair.
Your right to fear but not your place,
Its time we end this weary human race,
So I'll not set the windlass free,
Neither spin the dials nor turn the key,
Then facing me he searched my soul,
As the earth clock spun out of control.
My face was wet with sweat and tears,
This was the worst of all men's fears,
The hollow earth had ceased to spin,
And the sleepers would not wake again,
The keeper slumped to the tower floor,
I stumbled on to the heavy door,
Gazing through the emptiness space,
Hope vanished without a single trace.
So on we spin to the distant star,
How could this broken world go on so far,
And I alone remain to count the time,
To grieve the souls that are not mine,
And sing the songs of this hollow earth,
Where the dreams of men were given birth.