Reflections III or Asking Questions of Father Time

As the pendulum swings and the walls close in,
Only Father Time knows when the blade will strike.
Sunny days add a new layer of darkness to a darkened room with a darkening soul.
When will the inquisitors come to establish a terrible reign
And force a degrading populace to turn from ancient wisdom?
Does the pendulum draw closer, Father Time?
Perhaps hope has not abandoned us,
Despite an unseen killer still at large,
Despite the sickle of death still reaping a harvest.
Hope saved us before in an uncertain age
When the Lord Chamberlain's Men still took to the stage.
Is it a fool's hope to extend our hands to the Heavens?
To pray that our savior pours forth God's blessings?
Does the pendulum draw closer, Father Time?
People still have to-do lists to mark off before the end of the world.
When the inquisitors come, they can do it all in a day,
But it will come with a heavy price to pay.
Hope won't slow them down, but will speed them.
"Do what you must, but do so quickly."
Perhaps we will have to endure this dreadful day,
But in clinging to hope, we are promised a tomorrow
Not of locusts, but of milk, of honey.
The wisdom of the ancients, still wisdom to live by.

One of the darker poems I have written, but one that ends on a bit more of a brighter note. Throughout the pandemic and the isolation, it is hard not to think of things in religious terms and that certainly gets reflected in the poem. It was also heavily influenced by one of my favorite short story writers, Edgar Allan Poe, and his short story “The Pit and the Pendulum.” Not the biggest fan of him as a person, but his writing was either spectacular or a convoluted mess. I made several references to this, one of which was the Spanish Inquisition (who no one expects). Yet, rather than paint the inquisition as the same church-institutionalized group of torturers and wicked people, this inquisition is new, a group that would question a person’s ties to God in general, a precursor of sorts to an anti-Christ figure. The world as I see it now is primed for an end of the world scenario and, while I try my best not to be “doom and gloom,” it is hard not to apply an apocalyptic mindset to what is happening in the world, particularly when many of us are still currently so isolated. Due to this, there are scattered references to my own faith, among them the words Jesus spoke to Judas Iscariot shortly before the betrayal. Yet, I wanted things to end on a lighter note, although some may see it as a much heavier note. I also wanted to explore the ego, particularly with the sin of pride. This is mainly shown with the section about the to-do lists that people have to complete before the end of the world, a thought that seems so whimsical and outlandish given the state of things in the poem. I was attempting to show just how irrelevant our wants might be in the midst of God pouring His wrath on a world that has already deemed itself too busy to care and the thought that God has to wait on us to get our affairs in order. The line about the Lord Chamberlain’s Men I had to write. It seemed like an excellent opportunity to reference Shakespeare and the English renaissance, Shakespeare being one of my favorite poets and playwrights.

This writing is the work of its author, Andrew Ryan Duckworth, and can in no way be reproduced, copied, or distributed in any form without request from the author.

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