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A gust of wind blew through the trees,
as I stood in my favourite forest
and watched a single leaf break-away from its branch,
and begin to fall to Earth.
As this lone leaf descended above me,
right in front of me, time appeared to freeze.
This leaf, for some reason, was now defying gravity itself-
its fall had somehow become interrupted-
it was now floating and turning in the air right in front of me,
as if I were witnessing a token of nature and the world’s unlimited wealth.
The rest of the world was a blur to me;
the leaf, however, I could see with impeccable clarity.
Everything felt like a dream, but this wasn’t a fantasy-
this was like another state of reality.
There wasn’t a sound to be heard,
and yet I thought that I could feel noise all around-
something that was keeping me on my feet,
but denying the leaf from finding the ground.
It was as if I was watching a magic trick,
but I knew that it wasn’t an illusion
orchestrated by a magician, nor a hallucination-
what I was experiencing was, I can only describe as being,
like a moment of regeneration-
and this leaf had chosen to sacrifice itself
so that this necessary change could take place;
this leaf was all life on Earth,
this leaf was the changing face of every Earth-born race.
The air was cold, but I felt like a warm flame-flickering lantern;
the trees were still, but the golden leaf continued to turn.

And then, the rest of the world came back into focus.
Another gust of wind blew through the forest,
the branches of the behemoths all around me swayed from side-to-side,
all the leaves from all the trees suddenly fell to Earth as-one-
as if the entire forest had cried.
Every golden leaf that had once been green
and had coloured these woods every shade of life imaginable
now spiralled down through the air to the floor- around me, on me;
however, there was one exception:
the leaf that had fallen first was the last to touch the Earth
that lay in waiting-
it fell, but it fell in its own time, at its own pace-
saying a long goodbye to an existence that it was forsaking.
I was tempted to put out my hand to stop the leaf from completing its journey,
but then I berated myself for such a thought
and I continued to watch the leaf spin for the last time,
and then settle on top of all the other leaves on the ground
that moments ago were high above me.

I looked down at the leaf, until I could no longer discern which leaf had fallen,
froze time, and fascinated me so intently;
and then I looked up again at the trees and branches
that were now bare and free of foliage,
and my mind and thoughts felt flooded, but clear,
and teaming with energy and peace-
like the water of the Great Barrier Reef.
My focus was now clear,
my foundations of life were now cemented.
I believe that I witnessed the beginning, the end,
and the beginning of another universe
that began in the time that it took
to watch the slow flight of a falling leaf.

'The Falling Leaf'

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