On My Eighty Fourth Birthday

How long does it take

To reach eighty four

Does it all depend

On the calendar

Or is the evidence

Found in the ritual

Of the predictability of time

A sequential pattern in space

Or in a gentle breeze

That carries memories and songs

And the shadowy substance of being born

An epilogue to my family and friends:

Treasure today

Profit from yesterday

Invest wisely in tomorrow

 

Ted Goodell

May 2017

Watchmaker

The watchmaker lives

On the wisdom of tradition

Craftsman of the crescent and wheel

Surgically probing the hidden elusive curves

With years of precision planning

The watchmaker sits at his bench like a scribe

Searching the infinitesimal meaning

Of pinions and wheels layered in jewels

Where magnification and the lamp

Align the distal ends of banking pins

Riveting eyes that search for springs

Peering into the ticking heart of time

 

Ted Goodell

April 2017

To An Athlete

 

Let us commemorate

The athlete triumphant

The interplay of health and beauty

Forever dependent

On the interplay of mass and motion

The disciplined effort

To disguise

The ravishment of time

To shadow memories

While speed and strength

Still drive the sanctity of hope

 

Ted Goodell

April 23, 2007

Nothing Back

 

Whenever someone turns

The covers back

Remember times hidden hand

Turns nothing back

Not even dawn

With its crescent

Spectacle of light

Can steal a single feather

Lost in flight

Release it to the wind

Or give it freedom

For another night

 

Ted Goodell

April 30, 2007

Australopithecus Afarensis

 

Your bones laid buried;

Years measured in the millions

Left you hidden, protected you

From vain and repetitious history,

Your secrets guarded silently

Lest digging hands describe you,

And mount you on an iron frame,

And steal you from your ancient kind.

For this your mute deliverance,

Oh creature of an early kind!

Can we be old who only

Hold your bones or do we age

By aging without time?

Oh creature, rout us from our minds,

Who routed you from time.

 

Ted Goodell

1990

The Birds

 

How archaic it is to be a bird

The regimentation of pecking

The solidarity of perching

 

How archaic it is

To pierce the timelessness of time

And see old shadows buried in ancestral skies

And soar above a destiny

Of fleeting images gone by

 

How archaic it is to know

That one day

All this globe

Will be a nest for other birds

Celestial winged apostles

Of this ancient world

 

Ted Goodell

July 24, 2015

The Wrecking Ball

 

Time impales itself

Like a crown of thorns

On a future Savior

 

He will feel the pain

Of brushing past eternity

 

He will bend and bleed

 

He will duck

One last time

 

As the wrecking ball

Smashes the Cosmos

 

Ted Goodell

May 2004