Time is Not Linear

Time is Not Linear

A Poem by C. Harter Amos

for the Ghost of PaulS.


One of us beats a tambourine in a psychotic delirium,

Another plays rhythm guitar in the corner alone.

We’re all left to sing (somewhat) together,

trying to chase him through our syncopated tears.

We can't even cry well together.


At the end of the bar that he built in our heads,

piece by piece, board by board,

the air is forever filled with stale smoke,

and the echo of seven talented voices pulling in six directions

until all the voices tore apart and hushed.

But Paul's "Orchid Room" goes on forever,

graced with the sweetness of strawberries.


The piano man’s music, all dressed out in jazz, is gone.

We come back with troubled heads hoping to find him;

With his sage wisdom, his responsible answers in his caring hands,

“Try to see,” he offers us gently, “I’ve stepped through.”

Now we all learn how to exit alone.


We keep trying to ignore death has come;

none of us actually able to say that word, or see

the man in the gray fedora will always be missing.

A gaping hole in our hearts,

Maybe he’s there, but we’ll search without finding

until the time machine stops for each one of us.


He just wanted to be free.

So he stepped beyond the tone deaf stones we became

to retreat to his magic puzzle box.


He’s as free as a bird now,

with graceful sweeping hand,

he shows us, there above the lake,

frozen in motion, growing farther away in time;

".......a bird…......not a heron…"


He’s finally living at home

In the heart of where he’s meant to be,

Nose-to-nose with love,

Ankle deep in warm sand,

And noon-time high in smiles.

Perhaps a child plays at his feet

under the table; in Singapore in 1924,

like he wrote of,


at least we'll admit,

for now

he's very far away,

and unendingly soundless

to our hungry ears.

© 2010 C. Harter Amos

Author's Note

C. Harter Amos
Maybe this doesn't make sense unless you know Paul's writing, or went through the projects as one of the writers he was generous enough to invite along with him. I'm forever grateful to Paul for all I learned from him and the directions he pointed me from time to time. Mentor and friend; someone very hard to let go of. I don't think I ever will.

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I had a girl I loved, when they entwine your soul you can't let go.

Posted 5 Years Ago

I wish you'd told me this was here. It is beautiful Mimi. It still hurts. But it's becoming a part of me.

Posted 7 Years Ago


This Free Verse poem forces one to contemplate the death of a Demigod.

This poem moved me deeply. Bravo.

Posted 8 Years Ago

yes, time is not linear, nor is it anything else...thank you for this

Posted 8 Years Ago

(crying) very nice. Paul would have loved it. (hugs)

Posted 8 Years Ago

so many tributes to a worthy man and poet . . . he is much missed here in this little man-made world . . . wonderful

Posted 8 Years Ago

Such a beautiful tribute.............the deep loss, and the freedom of a soul.........Paul would have loved this writing, gentle, and a sense of deep sadness at his departure......the end is simply beautiful. We have been left with his work, his words and the man he was.
A child plays under the table; in 1924,

or, at least we'll admit,

he's just very far away,

unendingly soundless

to our hungry ears.

Posted 8 Years Ago

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7 Reviews
Shelved in 1 Library
Added on August 13, 2010
Last Updated on August 27, 2010
Tags: Paul Squires, The Orchid Room, The Puzzle Box, The Last Time Machine


C. Harter Amos
C. Harter Amos

Lexington, SC

Born in the swamps of the South Carolina Low Country. Brought up on the Classics with a great deal of emphasis on music. I spent about six years at the University of South Carolina in Columbia soakin.. more..