Poem for Otis Anthony

James Tokely
James Tokely
TAMPA (2009-09-21) -

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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