Grief Thief Of Time

Grief thief of time crawls off,
The moon-drawn grave, with the seafaring years,
The knave of pain steals off
The sea-halved faith that blew time to his knees,
The old forget the cries,
Lean time on tide and times the wind stood rough,
Call back the castaways
Riding the sea light on a sunken path,
The old forget the grief,
Hack of the cough, the hanging albatross,
Cast back the bone of youth
And salt-eyed stumble bedward where she lies
Who tossed the high tide in a time of stories
And timelessly lies loving with the thief.

Now Jack my fathers let the time-faced crook,
Death flashing from his sleeve,
With swag of bubbles in a seedy sack
Sneak down the stallion grave,
Bull’s-eye the outlaw through a eunuch crack
And free the twin-boxed grief,
No silver whistles chase him down the weeks’
Dayed peaks to day to death,
These stolen bubbles have the bites of snakes
And the undead eye-teeth,
No third eye probe into a rainbow’s sex
That bridged the human halves,
All shall remain and on the graveyard gulf
Shape with my fathers’ thieves.

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Analysis (ai): This poem explores the passage of time and the pain of loss. It personifies Grief as a thief who steals youth, memories, and life itself. The language is evocative and rhythmic, using imagery of seafaring, castaways, and a “time-faced crook” to convey the relentless march of time. The poet contrasts the experience of the old, who forget their grief, with the speaker’s enduring sorrow. The poem is characterized by its sense of despair and resignation, reflecting the author’s own experiences with loss and the passage of time. It is a powerful and moving exploration of grief and the human condition.

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