PAUL WAUGLA WII
An entry in the Crocodile Prize
Kina Securities Award for Poetry
After a long journey
Thru the hill country of Holk
An old country folk
Came to rest upon a rock
In the twilight hour
The laughter of merry youngsters
In the village square below
Reverberated through the hill country
In the night air.
The old man sat forlorn
Upon the rock,
A lifeless silhouette in the twilight hour,
Gazing forlornly to the infinite horizon.
Upon our chance encounter, I asked of the old man:
"Sir, what afflicts your mind at this hour?"
His words came forth slowly
Like the slow rhythm of my own heartbeat
In that twilight moment.
"The sweet beauty of youth,
If there is a moment to behold
That sweet moment of my bygone youth
Has inevitably slipped from my embrace
Many years ago.
“When I was young
I possessed neither inhibition nor a mind to reason.
When I was in the prime of my youth
I allowed my heart to run with the wind.
“The sweet fragrance of youth
It was so endearing a moment to let go.
I wished so much to hold onto my youthfulness
But, alas, that beautiful moment
That endearing beauty of youth
Slipped out of my embrace
Like the last rays of the setting sun.
“If only you and I could hold back the current of time!
It is not within us to redeem
What has already been lost
To the workings of nature.
“These youngsters down yonder
Will eventually get to where a man must inevitably go,
Bruised and battered,
After they are truly done and over with
Their life of recklessness and insolence.
“If I may ask you to choose
Between youthful indulgence and modesty of character.
What would you really choose?"