Time drifts away,
as mist fades on the mountain.
The world itself is hardly more substantial.
The living water springing
from life’s fountain runs dry,
leaving discarded bones
bleaching in the sun.
Molecules of arms and legs and brain
are rebels all and would be free again
and the whole pageant of our days and hours
runs only till we lose our feeble powers.
We are children playing out our days
with sandcastles and fantasies
until the turning of the tide slides in to erase
what we have worked so hard to raise,
struggled to protect and called our own –
fragments of things, at very best on loan.
Upward our thoughts might usefully aspire;
nothing down here needs building any higher.
Deal justly with your neighbour
and make of him your friend
and, in your inner garden, labour
until you reach your end.