In sequestered place from time and space
surveying wordlessly the chase
of years by year, and day by days
as sundial's shadow seasons trace;
impassively he stands in place
hourglass eyes in square clockface.
The sun reigns hazy, mid-day heat,
fat droplets soak the asphalt street
forming puddles--deep, abysmal pools;
clear, cool draughts for muddled fools
that abruptly vanish and retreat
to distance safe from aimless feet.
In the evening of the year
red-orange leaves scorn passing feet
and trodden twigs make cryptic speech
like "whisper-crack" and "rustlescratch."
they gossip tactical retreat:
"earth withdraws strength for needed sleep;
summer has fled the fall frontier."
Silent, frosty, winter nights hide
joyous lakes 'neath skies of ice
gurgling ancient, arcane melodies,
unknown to all but archmage wise.
To him the water bodies sing
the ballad "Battle Winterspring."
But for return of life to a land near-dead
all beings, great and small, rejoice--
Behold the rebirth of dormant earth;
each child of nature lifts its voice.
Old rivals hail; loved ones embrace.
The game's rejoined; resume the chase!
Beyond the threshold of the world,
this fleeting realm of wroth and pain,
our sentinel keeps watchful eye
without surcease, without refrain.
His calendar reads dusk to dawn,
sunrise to set, and back again.