Poem for Otis Anthony
THE TIME TRAVELER
(For Otis Anthony)
By James E. Tokley, Sr.
Poet Laureate, Tampa
Young man who sees the future in the echoes of the Past
Whose eyes light up with wonder from the splendor that they bring
Young scholar filled with questions, who beholds an hour-glass
For, in each falling crystal do both truth and dreams take wing
He belongs to the realm of Poets, a restless, irritable tribe
Who rummages through mankind's refuse, to choose what to revive
But Historians proudly claim him, too. For, much like them, they say,
Young Otis often has renewed what once seemed lost and grey
The forgotten rubble of our past; those subterranean roots that lay
Just subtly beyond our grasp, like ancient, shattered pots of clay,
Young Anthony, so Historians claim, knew each frail piece by place and name
Thus has the talent of his tongue and heart combined to keep him young
While other scholars twice his age were lost, on some forgotten page
Or footnote, there in slow disgrace marooned by progress in some place
Where none, but bookworms chance to go or graduate students lost in ice and snow!
But this young man whose heart compels a spirit much like H.G. Wells
Would create a time machine designed and propelled by the stories he would find
About a history whose threads wove both the living and the dead
into a wondrous tapestry, imbued with truth and poetry
Like Langston Hughes and Leroy Jones, Studs Terkel, John Hope Franklin, too,
Young Otis Anthony picks up bones and polishes them t'il they look like new
Then like Bro. Taft, he subtly brings them back to life until they sing!
He places them in his time machine where the Past no longer remains a dream
but speaks to a generation who might well have guessed, but never knew!
To Otis Anthony, we sing
This poem of praise, to give him wings!
Copyright 2009 James E. Tokley, Sr. © Copyright 2009, WUSF
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