The Test of Time


As Fensham was walking, he recalled days of love,

when the ground moved beneath him and the sun shone above.

They were so far behind him now, lost to the past.

Fensham felt tears build, but dismissed them as fast.


Yet no sooner had he steeled himself against reminiscing

than recollections of childhood stood up, front and centre.

His playmate in the fields of innocent’s blessing

laughed with his boyhood, before he could prevent her

from taking centre stage in his chained and forgotten past.

The dreams of this boy had been dreamed to last.


But dreams were childish, ephemeral things,

evaporating to the ether with the growth of youth’s wings.

They took to the sky, and with them all hope,

for without them, man became as the misanthrope.


Life without dreams just plodded along,

like Fensham’s mare – drawn by her reins.

And the bright melody of innocence was a darker song,

defined by necessity, duty and humanity’s pain.


Yet Fensham was not a man who hated life.

Nor did he hate people, or rue the world.

He had no son, nor had he taken a wife,

and so the darkness within him remained unfurled.


‘Where did I go wrong?’ he asked of his mind,

‘and how did I become of the evil kind?’

But the answers were clear and he could not deny

the things he had done in pursuit of his lie.


For he lied to himself each and every day:

‘I deserve to be the master of everyone’s say.’


Yet what gives thee this right? Who art thou to rule?

Why art thou greater than any fool

who thinkest himself able to make others’ choices?

Thou art but one amongst countless voices.


Fensham shook himself free of his conscience:

‘I refuse to accept this logic of nonsense!’

His horse was startled by this sudden intrusion,

but both soon returned to their silent confusion.


Beneath Fensham’s feet, the ground was blackened and charred.

The skin on his face and hands had gone hard.

While the sun bore down like some ironic curse,

Fensham licked dry lips and said,

‘It could be worse.’


And then the sun went down.

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