We divide the clock

Into pie segments

To self-indulgently show

We are masters of time.

Serving up plates, we

Apportion hours a la carte.

We spear minutes with a fork.

Wistfully, we sip on seconds.

We park our legs high

On a chair, lean back,

Saying, this year I will do this,

Next year that.

But time yields to no master:

Heedless brute, it is an

Inexorable mule,

Spinning sun, ruthless.

Only a cosmic force

Colossal as stars collapsing,

Warping space like plastic,

Has the arm to rein in time,

Rearing neighing stallion,

Bull kept at bay.

Time answers to no one.

We answer to time.

Already it holds us

On a leash, shortening:

We strain forward;

It pulls us in.

Helpless fish,

We must forsake fruit

Just beyond our reach.

And we are bound to tell time

Our narrative when it ends.

Now the clock strikes:

Bells ring, sonorous,

Pure as childhood,

Shining as youth,

Florid as love,

Perfect as wisdom

…the spring runs out.


Gonzalinho da Costa is the pen name of Joseph I. B. Gonzales, Ph.D. He teaches Methods of Research in Management, and Managerial Statistics at the Ateneo Graduate School of Business, Makati City, Philippines. He is a management research and communication consultant, and Managing Director of Technikos Consulting, Inc. A lover of world literature, he has completed three humanities degrees and writes poetry as a hobby.