Tuesday, 25 April 2017

T-I-M-E, Hands on a Millennium Clock OR L-I-F-E, Echoes of Sound and Fury

‘Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury
Signifying nothing...’ – Shakespeare (Macbeth)

Provoked by a classmate, I fought with him in the school playground some 60+ years ago. We were both given detention, and I missed a favourite TV programme as well as having to explain to my mother why I was late home. I protested that it wasn’t my fault, to which she replied, ‘It’s never Anyone’s fault, dear, which is why No one gets anywhere fast because Everyone is too busy blaming Someone Else to actually get to the bottom of things.’ This meant nothing to me at the time, of course, but continues to resonate with me, making sense of a kind it has taken me the better part of a lifetime to grow into…


Childhood, waved me on
to better days
when grownups take notice
of what I think,
even have the presumption
to offer an opinion

Teenage years greeted me
with false promises,
aspirations soon warned off
by my betters
as overarching my potential,
mere pipe dreams

A working life beckoned
away from schooldays
filled with angst about exams,
impressing peers,
yearning a greater freedom
of personal space

Retirement welcomed me
with a cheery wave,
promising leisure moments filled
with fun and laughter
free from work stress, more time
for family and friends

Old age has the last laugh
on me, them, us,
and a worldwide Family of Man,
exposing home truths
more sinned against than sinning
for sowing confusion?

Such are tales told by an idiot,
signifying nothing…
unless we discern and accept
some responsibility
for our world as it is, and do our bit
to change it for the better

Copyright R. N. Taber 2017

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