Time Garden: A Sestina By Emory Jones

Time Garden: A Sestina
With careful rake he manicures the sand
And sets the rocks just right within his work
And pine tree’s molded branches in the type
Of stage, almost a watercolor set
In shades of yellow, gray, and green which meet
In fragile scene that could be caught in time.
We stop and look, slow down and take our time
Amazed at artful nature made of only sand
Which laps on trees and rocks where sidewalks meet.
Such beauty, grace and spirit are the work
Of art expressed in simple strokes, the type
Against the silence of the ages set.
The promised quiet beauty now is set
The day is slowly running out of time
And garden as a work of art is type
Of symmetry that could be made of sand,
A simple frozen image of the work
Where light and stone and swirling sand now meet.
Now as the light is failing spirits meet
And hover on nature’s stage now set,
A simple statement that for now will work
And lift us out of body, out of time.
Eternity within the swirls of sand
With rocks and trees of just a single type.
No great award is given for this type
Nor any is expected. Now we meet
The frozen image of the swirls of sand
Within our spirits now so firmly set
As if the universe and all of time
Are pictured in this single simple work.
The artist was very skillful at his work
The garden is nearly perfect for its type
So fragile yet it will stand the test of time
Its purifying power we shall meet
It is more perfect than this attempt to set
Impressions of this art in lowly sand.

And so the work in earthly rock and sand
Is but a type of beauty that we set
Our time to savor the beauty that we meet.

About the Poet
Dr. Emory D. Jones is an English teacher who has taught in Cherokee Vocational High School in Cherokee, Alabama, for one year, Northeast Alabama State Junior College for three years, Snead State Junior College in Alabama for two years, and Northeast Mississippi Community College for thirty-five years.  He joined the Mississippi Poetry Society, Inc. in 1981 and has served as President of this society.  He was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by this society in 2015.  He has over two hundred and thirty-five publishing credits.