The time the earth stood still . . .

(Credit: Getty Images)

For whatever suspect reason

Earth has earned its quiet Sabbatical;

Whether weekly Sabbath days or

Months, political or biblical:


Suddenly! Everything has crawled to a stop!

The streets are empty; the cars hand-braked;

The sky unscarred by high contrails, or

Lower, dirty, jet-scorched tracks;

And chainsaws’ chattering jaws of teeth

Rest on stumps of fallen trees.


From space,

Our revolving opalescent jewel of sky

Still beams its prismed lights,

And everything is Sabbath day

And silent nights.

Malcolm Ford is a teacher, poet, artist/sculptor from Whangerei, New Zealand.