Time by Ted Kooser

In memory of our beloved Brian Landis, who passed away Friday, February 1 2019. Brian’s photography added such a beautiful visual complement to our poems for this newsletter and for the upcoming Solo Novo. He will be missed greatly. Gate Gate Paragate Parasam Gate.

Ten years ago I wrote a poem as a twenty-something contemplating the rush of time and what it will mean to grow old. Since then I go back to this topic perennially; I’m obsessed with it.

Photo Courtesy Brian Landis

Ted Kooser


Time is like Fagin in Oliver Twist:
he has a gang of scoundrel clocks
and watches, and sends them out
to pickpocket our lives, but only
a coin purse or a billfold of minutes
per outing. You feel a little tug,
and check your pocket, and find
to your surprise that another
day’s gone. When I was young
I was foolish and carried my life
right out in the open, a satchel
full of years, strode blithely smiling
into the numberless mornings.
Now I’m old and live on what’s left.
I keep the precious minutes warm
in my sweater pockets, clutched
in my spotted blue hands.

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