You know he is watching

Yeah I like watching pretty girls, but what was that other thing we used to do?

You can not avoid it!
You are tied to the tracks
of time by the proctor of life.
That distant light, that rumble,
that incessant movement toward you,
it is not probability, it is
destiny. Somewhere on our
life’s plain, a moment will
arrive, you will not know it,
it will just occur. It will not
announce itself, nor will it
rustle the curtains of your
soul’s cathedral. It is a
charmer festooned in the
cloth of another, bringing
a gift tied in bright paper,
gaily colored balloons,
and sweets. There will be
love, that all-consuming
warmth of family and friends.
But, hanging over the joy is
the Joe Btfsplk cloud
dressed as Stupefyin’ Jones,
you see it because you have
passed the point of no return,
the downhill slope, the realm
where the invigilator keeps company.
You know he is watching, as
he has been since the day you
drew your first screaming breath,
and you come to the realization;
This may be my last birthday, enjoy.

© 2010, Donald Harbour

9 thoughts on “You know he is watching

  1. I’ve had the thought that I have already had more birthdays than I have coming up, and this poem really feeds right into that.

    well done.


  2. W.S. Merwin wrote a poem about the anniversary of one’s death. One passes it every year (just as one passes other anniversaries – of birth, of marriage – whatever) but one doesn’t know it! I reflect sometimes on the number of SUMMERS I might have left (as I love summers). A lot less summers than I’ve lived through. Your poem is definitely a good reminder to LIVE each day.


  3. Your opening lines remind me of one of my favorite songs, “we’re like cars on a cable, and life’s like an hourglass glued to the table, no one can find the rewind button now, so sing it if you understand… ” (Anna Nalick’s “Breathe”) and sing it you do.

    ” passed the point of no return,
    the downhill slope, the realm
    where the invigilator keeps company.”

    and I remember that very precise moment when I looked up and said, “Oh shit! I’ve lived longer than I have left.” Then told myself, “Hey, kiddo, if you are ever going to do it, it better be now.” And I have.

    Thank you so much for this one, and Happy Birthday.



  4. well HELLOOOOOOOOOOOO Donald….Birthdays????…..hmmm think I got another one coming up……anyways…..havent read much of your poetry lately…..missed it….so nice to read again…..and thanks for sharing this Don


  5. Really hit a nerve with me, Donald…good work!
    (funny story – I use the Joe Btfsplk reference all the time-did it last night and no one else had a clue what I was talking about…so sad, Lil Abner was wonderful! My dad called my daughter “Stupefyin” Jones! & her cousin was “Daisy Mae”.)


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