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oceans are the years

the tears of joy and sorrow

collected and held


I attended a concert of the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra that premiered Kevin Lau’s song cycle, The Ruins of Time. The texts for each of the seven movements come from various poets writing on the theme of time. I was inspired to write the haiku above as I was listening to the words of Benjamin Franklin Taylor:

Oh, a wonderful stream is the river of Time,
As it runs through the realm of tears,
With a faultless rhythm and a musical rhyme,
And a boundless sweep and a surge sublime,
As it blends with the ocean of Years.

How the winters are drifting, like flakes of snow,
And the summers, like buds between;
And the year in the sheaf—so they come and they go,
On the river’s breast, with its ebb and flow,
As it glides in the shadow and sheen.

(excerpt from “The Isle of Long Ago”)



Cindy about 1 year ago

It is amazing how in a poem of so few words, you are able to convey, acknowledge and honour a life and heart where suffering and hope, darkness and light, are intertwined in your yesterdays, today and tomorrows. Your words brought to mind Psalm 56:8 - "You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book." Every tear is precious. Thank you for sharing your poetry! So good to pause and reflect on who is collecting and holding my tears - is it me or God?

Melayni about 1 year ago

So beautiful Kristen! Thank you for sharing. I too was reminded of Psalm 56:8. When we were in Isreal there was tear bottles in the market to purchase as a symbol of God collecting them.

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