Time on One's Hands by Larner

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For RabidSamFan for her birthday.

Time on One’s Hands

a riddle poem

I have time on my hands,

            But not always the same.

In Harad I am water,

            In Gondor a flame.

Dwarves catch me in iron,

            In ratchets and wheels;

Elves see me in seasons,

            In the stars in their reels.

I’ll sit on the mantel

            And my heart beats away.

What I measure is formless

            And too oft slips away.

No one asks me a question,

            But consult me they do;

And if they neglect me,

            My tale won’t be true.

Although I run always,

            I can’t stir a foot.

I have hands but no arms,

            And my foot wears no boot.

Now guard I a letter

            Left at the dawn of the day;

And if he fails to look soon

            His chance slips away.


…Time to work and time to play,

And so it sings throughout the day.

From an old nursery rhyme. 

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