This poem was published in “The Stranger, An Extraordinary Journey Beyond The Limits”, along with 80 other poems. To read a summary of the book, and preview few of the other poems, please go to this link: http://bit.ly/MbRur0
All rights reserved to the poet/author: Yaman Saleh
On the outskirts of the Castle of Time, a rider is approaching
His black horse is almost flying
Not that he’s in a hurry, remember, he’s outside the Castle of Time
But that’s how his horse strides, charming like a brand new dime
No saddle, no bridles, no reins; the rider is also out of the limits of space
Reaching the wooden door, carved of deep brown oak, the rider stops!
The door is too high, too wide; its color has turned black over the years
The rider dismounts, leaves the horse to graze as he pleases
Walks towards the footsteps leading to the black door of the Castle of Time
Should he knock? Should he look for a handle? No such thing, only time
Should he push with might, he is ready to fight
The rider is tall and thin, but not skinny, wearing a long black coat, very long beard and very long black hair
Everything about him is black, except his face, which shines with flare
It turned out the door was unlocked, and can be opened with ease and delight
The door is now wide open; the man steps in, into the Castle of Time
Something’s strange in the air, the faces are pale, and the children are not there
People seem to be sleep-walking the Path of Time
Very straight, no curves, no hills; just a rocky road
It starts at the gate, but an end is not in sight
The rider looks at the faces, searches for children, picks up some rocks
What are these people worried about? He wonders. Have they lost the zeal of life?
Have they become so accustomed to struggle, to pain, and to strife?
Habituated with fear, to the extent that they sleep-walk the Path of Time, on and on and on!
Why don’t they stop, why don’t they look around, why do they keep pressing along; from dawn to dawn?
A little child emerges from a narrow alley that leads to the Path of Time
He, and only he, could see the Stranger, waves his small hand, shouting: come on down
The rider moves in that direction, the wind blowing his beard and hair, but he doesn’t care!
As he has spent his whole life, his timeless life, in the woods; he knows his way around
Sitting beside the boy on the curb, he asks: Why is everything here grey?
Why all this dismay?
Why are these people so different from the ones I know?
In my land, everyone has something to say
There is no one to obey
Except the supreme Lord; the only God! With love and devotion we sure obey
Why are you the only one who could see me, invite me, talk to me? Can you say?
Can you tell the secret of the Castle of Time?
The child sighs, tears in the beautiful, innocent eyes
Sir, he starts: This castle is a phantom, built by a group of ghosts, in the absence of souls
The poor people you see moving around; think it’s real
They do not know better. Everyone has taken it from his father
And the father has accepted it from the grandfather, no matter
Then it became a fact! An undoubted fact of life!
Life in this Castle is inseparable from the Path of Time
In those people’s minds: To live is to sleep-walk the Path of Time, on and on and on
From dawn to dawn
Here the Stranger stands. I know better he says
This Castle is cursed. It’s bound to be destroyed
I’m leaving it behind, for my land is where I want to reside
No worries, no sleep walking, it’s the land of the free
And off the Stranger goes towards the black old door
His black horse is still outside, joyfully waiting for his master
The rider jumps effortlessly on the back of the bare horse , leaving behind the misery of the Castle of Time!
As he and his horse move away, he swears he’ll never come back to this sorry place
His black, long hair’s flying in the air, and the afternoon sun shines on his calm face