Poem: The Hourglass

20 Oct


When I was but an innocent child

Through naive eyes the world I’d see

So little of life had I compiled

With a hungry mind, and in nature mild

The hourglass seemed so big to me

It sands flowed from infinity

Then came the boundless drive of youth

The less I knew the more I learned

My days were far too short, in truth

And night’s embrace I’d try to spurn

Too soon the hourglass would turn

There came the day where I, the man

Held this world under my thumb

As I bathed in the radiant mid-day sun

Oh! The time – how quick it ran

But not how fast did fall the sand

The hourglass, though years it span’d

Did turn so fast as if it spun

As the hourglass is new

Its asymmetry too well I know

For atop, the grains, they are so few

Each one falls within my view

And adds to the loose pile below

My life ebbs, and the pile, it grows

A long, rich life now in review

As the hourglass my last sand bestows

23 Responses to “Poem: The Hourglass”

  1. Kim Raya October 20, 2013 at 9:28 am #

    Beautiful and poignant…

  2. vicbriggs October 20, 2013 at 10:30 am #

    The hourglass … time shattered into particles of sand. Thank you for the poem. Melancholy, but beautiful all the same.

  3. idiotwriter October 20, 2013 at 1:42 pm #

    Simply splendid Navigator…splendid, yet tragic too.

    • navigator1965 October 21, 2013 at 4:51 pm #

      Thank you IW. I think the true tragedy is that too many of us have the prime of our lives race past us as we toil on initiatives of marginal true value or meaning (e.g., careers), only to realize how much we should have spent time on more important things (family, kids, spouses, spiritual growth).

      • idiotwriter October 21, 2013 at 5:12 pm #

        It is the sad reality of humanity, what you speak of…yet ow else do we ensure those we care fors future without our toil? It is the darkness of being on this planet…nothing new under the sun hey 😉 We come – we live – we die…it is what it is- and we can be sad or happy – it is a choice. THIS is the point you make I think…thus beautiful – yet tragic…

        • navigator1965 October 21, 2013 at 5:37 pm #

          I started the poem with the general thought of exploring how time was perceived differently at different phases in our lives, and our emotional responses to this. While I did not start out with the intent of crafting such a theme – the poem permitted me to write it, if this makes any sense -, your interpretation is completely valid.

          I think this is one of the beautiful aspects of poetry in general – it has the ability to speak us in ways that differ slightly individually yet are individually most relevant. I would suggest that paintings and visual art share this same characteristic. Beauty is in the eye of the individual beholder.

        • idiotwriter October 21, 2013 at 5:45 pm #

          Well yeah!!!?? 😉 Like my daughter said re assessing Poetry in English ‘ I can not just write a short paragraph about the themes and all the rest in a poem…if they REAALLY want me to pull the thing apart – I would have to write a book!’ Bless her – she hates English…

  4. Dotta Raphels October 20, 2013 at 11:21 pm #

    I simple pray the sands run a tad slower for us all, as we grow used to the ever escaping stream, falling steadily before our eyes.
    Yes, we lose so much time in transition, wandering,wondering and wallowing. Now we long for more time, it’s becomes clear how little of it we have left. Yet we acknowledge deep inside, of a life richly lived (at least those who kindness found ).

    Perhaps a little more time in the living of what’s left, then the disappointment of the wasted ones,would pale in comparison to riches we found.
    Pragmatic I would say, very clear assessment to all life 🙂

  5. dalo2013 October 21, 2013 at 7:19 am #

    Incredible poem, and love the touch of melancholy with long rich life… My favorite part was reading “The hourglass seemed so big to me ~ It sands flowed from infinity…” as it took me back to my youth when it was so… Beautiful work.

    • navigator1965 October 21, 2013 at 5:00 pm #

      Thank you for these kind words. The same thing happened to me when I wrote this a few years ago – I remembered how long the days seemed to be when I was a child sometimes, and how much I did not want to go to be. It’s nice that one can experience shared fond memories via poetry.

      • dalo2013 October 21, 2013 at 10:04 pm #

        So true, and it seemed at that age of timeless days, I knew these days were special…and certainly enjoyed the time. Still nothing quite prepares you for how short life seems to be 🙂

  6. Mich-in-French October 21, 2013 at 3:49 pm #

    Oh that we could pause the sand – beautifully said – making each grain count is a challenge because we lose sight of that running sand way too often

    • navigator1965 October 21, 2013 at 5:03 pm #


      Thank you. How tempting is the thought that we could slow the sand, but that is not the nature of our existence. You are right, of course. We lose sight of how precious our time on this Earth really is, and what our priorities should be.

  7. evolution October 21, 2013 at 9:12 pm #

    I love this poem. It reminds me to appreciate each day I have in this life.

  8. barbarafranken October 22, 2013 at 3:23 am #

    What a splendid poem… To appreciate the moments, the small things is so important for our peace of mind and joy of our heart and soul… Barbara

  9. jrbenjamin November 7, 2013 at 11:37 pm #

    Very solid. I love the meter, the tone. The images are basic but powerful. Very strong work.

    • navigator1965 November 8, 2013 at 6:50 am #

      Thanks jr. I do recall having really enjoyed writing this one.

  10. Tracesofthesoul March 4, 2014 at 2:28 am #

    Very beautifully said and the form reads so nicely! Time has such a differenct meaning as we age…it see it slipping by too quickly.

    • navigator1965 March 4, 2014 at 8:26 am #

      Thank you. I recall being very pleased with this once I had finished it over five years ago. I wanted to capture how our perception of the passing of time changes with time.

      Appreciate your taking the time to read it and comment.

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