The Angel of Time
The Angel of Time follows me,
stalks me down dimly lit corridors,
or on the bright sunny sidewalks
of my small town as I stroll beneath
rolling tumbling clouds the color
of rich loam or certain cats who
duck into churches whose doors are left open.
Their bells toll in a lowsome throaty dirge, each
competing on Sunday; they mourn for the souls of
sinners and the smug assurance of the saved.
My Angel of Time (permit me) has purple eyes
rimmed with black; wears lipstick and too much
rouge. He calls himself by the names
of those he seeks, and makes secret forays into
dimensions we can only hope to begin to understand.
My Archangel of Time is often impatient: swings
his flaming sword back and forth like a child’s plaything
and longs to sever the strings that anchor me like a circus balloon
floating here alone, so that, cut, I will sail away into the unknown,
unaccompanied, wistfully looked after perhaps
by some dismayed child, but forgotten in a very short while.
—Jack Ramey (Jefferson County)
Jack Ramey is a poet, performer, and professor at Indiana University Southeast where he teaches a variety of writing courses. He has published two books of poetry: The Future Past (Dark House Press) and Death Sings in the Choir of Light (Springwood Press). In the 1980s he portrayed the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas in his one-person show Dark Is a Long Way: An Evening with Dylan Thomas. The show had successful runs in New York and Los Angeles. More recently he has performed Whitman’s “Song of Myself” at the New York Public Library and the Walt Whitman Birthplace Museum on Long Island. His educational DVD: William Blake: Imagination and Vision won an Aegis award in 2005.