Friday, August 12, 2011

Poetry Friday -- Time Does Not Stand Still


It's been said before
(a million-million times)
but it bears repeating:
time is a river that does not
stand still and wait for me.

--I remember the exact moment I learned to float on my back in the cold blue water of the swimming pool. I lay there looking up at the cloudless sky, sun on my face, roar of water in my ears. Floating. I floated until someone came and stood me up and told me that swimming lessons were over.--

Today I will try floating
on the river of time
instead of thrashing my arms and legs against the never ending current,
instead of racing to beat it to some place where no finish line exists.

© Mary Lee Hahn, 2011

It's good to be back, after two weeks in Belgium. Simultaneously, it's hard to be back, after two weeks in Belgium.

It's impossible not to think about time when you're in a place where the 1800's are recent history. The image above is the remaining fragment of the original city wall of Brussels. The river of time has clearly moved on and stranded it there in the midst of modern life.

It's impossible not to think about time when the new school year wakes you up and leaves you sleepless in the cricket-dark of the early morning.

Karen is hosting today's Poetry Friday round up at Karen Edmisten: The Blog With The Shockingly Clever Title. (I love writing that!) Many thanks to Kate and Libby for rounding up my scheduled PF posts the past two weeks while I was away!


  1. Thanks for your thoughts today. A nice reminder. Your words are lovely.

  2. Lovely poem -- didn't realize you were in Belgium. Wow! Amazing photo, the wall between two modern buildings.

    Love the image of you floating in the pool. . .

  3. "the cricket-dark of the morning"

    what a lovely phrase

  4. What I like is how that chunk of wall floats on its patch of green grass between the other buildings, moving on, moving on--just like young Mary Lee floats between the banks of the river of time...nice one! How did you spend your two weeks in Belgium? And what's your moules frites count? : )

  5. Lovely poem, Mary Lee.

  6. LOVE that poem....especially since I have been at swim lessons every morning this week with my son, watching him learn to float for the first time....I’ll never watch him do that again without thinking of your poem...lovely, indeed!

  7. I enjoyed that poem - reminds me of the power of standing still for a moment, the wind on your hair, eyes raised heavenwards. Thank you for sharing that beautiful beautiful poem. You must have enjoyed Belgium! =)

  8. Mary Lee, thanks for this. :)
    And wow, your trip! Looks amazing.

  9. Welcome home! My nephew was there this summer. This weekend my family is visiting St. Augustine Beach(we love it down here) and this afternoon I treated myself to floating on my back out in the big ol' ocean. Then, to read your beautiful poetry today - ahh. Perfect.

  10. Hooray for coming home and hooray for Belgium! What a cool trip!

    I love your poem. Your description of the exhilarating sensation of learning to float is spot on...the water "roaring in your ears" is especially lovely. I want to learn to float in Time too.

  11. Mary Lee, a stunning photo to match a reflective original poem - your words make me want to stop sitting around & DO something! Many appreciations.


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