Poem: Dust on the Clocks

Dust on the Clocks

For a man with so many clocks,
you pay surprisingly little attention to time,
measuring life a different way,
in experiences, in battles,
road trips and spiritual journeys,
progress instead of goals, movement, growth.

As for the clocks, you let them wind down.
You do not replace the batteries.
They are decorations, museum pieces
of a life once governed differently.

I can not tell you if this is a brokenness or an enlightenment.
It is simply evolution. My evolution. Either
an arrogance or a lostness.
I am aware it could be either. In me
are elements of both.

Now and again, you wind the clock your great grandfather wound
and watch the pendulum swing in perfect time
Bells ring the hour.
The steady ticking sounds through the house.
The sound of your childhood
where you father rewound the ancient springs each Sunday
the noise of time always in the background.

But not here. You treasure the antique, the family connection,
but not the time. It will all end too quickly anyway,
no matter whether I measure it or not.

I’d rather not.
I want no constraints on intimate conversations,
or evenings curled on the sofa with the woman I love.
No constraints on the struggle of prayer and depression,
enough time to allow them their evolution,
to allow life’s battle to play out
on the heart’s timetable.

About this poem

A woman I dated for many years once told me I measured time differently than anyone she knew. I am not sure it was a compliment.

But it may be so.


PS: The picture is from my office. The tall arched mantle clock was my great grandfathers. The small arched clock was my grandfather’s. The square, angled clock from England was my parent’s.

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