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Posts Tagged ‘time’

Off the Clock




I want to wake with no sense of what a minute is—
no watch on my hand, no dial on the wall,
no method to measure this life into units of should.
I want to lean into the spell of sunlight like orchids on the sill.
I want to be a question only the moment can answer,
want bergamot to tell me it’s time for tea.
And if there is a pressing yes, then let it find me.
Let me feel into the field of my upper back—
how spacious it becomes when I act with integrity.
Let me be rhythm of shadow and birdsong
let me be rising wind. Let me be time itself,
not the arrow of time, but the infinite sea
and the sand that slips and the silence that swells
in the absence of tick tick tick. I want to wake
to no hands but yours and mine. To be born into the day.
No was. No will. No once. No when.
No deadline. No finish line. No wrong date. No too late.
No too late. Not even a little too late. It would never be too late.

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December 31




I know it’s just another square
on the calendar, another tick on a clock
in the Royal Observatory in London,
but tonight feels like a good time
to forgive myself—for thinking
I know anything. For wishing for life
to be any different than it is. For
blaming anyone or anything.
For every time I have turned away
from helping someone else. Tonight
is the right time to touch the darkness
and feel how small I am, to expose
my fear for the future, my pain
of the past, and let all be flooded
by the shimmer of present mystery.
Tonight is the time to nourish
the pericardium of the world,
to take care of the one great heart
that beats in us all and trust  
that our kindness matters always—
not in a conceptual way, but
in the very specific way we say hello,
the way we hold out our hand,
how we shape our words,
where we give of our time, and
how we open or wall off our thoughts.
I light a candle tonight, as every night,
and invoke my beloveds here and not here.
And though it’s a small act,
it unfastens some lock in me
and says yes, this is more
than a date, more than a timetable.
This is an essential point
on the continuum of love.
This is a chance to bring light.




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When in Rome




What a loss it would be
to not have born so I
would have missed a
Thursday night like this
in which my son and I
walk the dark streets
in Georgia and watch
the lightning transform
the sky into pink flares
and smell some sweet
unnamable flower and
talk about Dodge Chargers
and knees and roaches—
I swear it has all been
worth it, every second
of fifty-one years, for this
hour in which there
are no bells, no shoulds,
no other tugs except
to take the next step
down the centerline
while in the distance,
raps another clap
of thunder.

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Apricot Wine


for Dave


From this glass of chilled apricot wine,
bottled just days ago,
I drink the long days of summers past,
a potent sweetness that comes
only with time. I drink the memory
of the hands that harvested the fruit,
the memory of patience,
memory of soft rain and deep blue.

If I could bottle this day,
would there be enough sweetness in it
to make a wine I could savor?
Were there enough moments
when I fell in love with the world?
A laugh with a friend, scent of pine needles,
cold shower on hot skin,
and this glass of apricot wine.

Could I learn, as this wine has,
how to let goodness develop,
how to invite the taste of something wonderful
that wasn’t originally here?
In this wine, hints of pineapple, lemon,
plum. By what magic do they appear?
Oh world, teach me that patience.
Teach me to trust in time, to trust
in magic I don’t understand,
to improve with age, like apricot wine.

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It goes so fast, they say,
and clearly they don’t mean
today, which moves at the speed
of tectonic plates, not today
when holding a child
means not holding
that child because
they refuse to be held.
Sometimes, being a mother
is to move at the rate
of fear, the rate
of betrayal, the rate
of loss. Today,
to be a mother
is be ancient
oceanic crust that creeps
at ten centimeters a year.
Someday, perhaps tomorrow,
love will again be meteor,
but today it’s intense heat
at the core. It’s the slow scrape
of two great plates,
something cool
waiting to be warmed.

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even as we devour
the apple
scent of apple blossoms

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Missing My Dad

I hate riding in boats,
the way it makes
my body want to turn
inside out, hate the way
my body rocks for hours
after I’m back on land.
But I love the way
my father’s hands
rest on the wheel,
the way his eyes
scan the waves,
the easy slope
of his shoulders.
He’s so himself,
so whole, so someone
who I’m glad to know.
Standing on shore,
I wave at his boat,
as he points it
toward the deep.
He waves back
and smiles
with great love.
There are many
kinds of oceans—
time is one.
I hate the distances
we keep.

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I am all too aware of that permanent track
with its strict rails of duty and ties of to do,
how it structures my days
in inflexible ways, allows the engine
of time to move only on pre-regulated paths.
 
I would love to lose those tracks of time,
veer off the underlying subgrade
and stroll on foot through the fields of hours
and lay in the lazy tall grass of warm days.
 
Or so I say. And yet I commit
to new rails, new track that I pound in
with the iron spikes of yes,
like a pioneer hellbent on progress.
 
No. I did not lose track of time,
but perhaps I lost track of me.
Perhaps I lost track of you.
Perhaps it is not too late.
 
 
 
 
 

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One Memoir

 
 
these beautiful thoughts
old pages turned yellow
every word still true

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Disappointment


 
Time lost its shoes.
            —Pablo Neruda, “Too Many Names,” version by Anthony Kerrigan
 
 
And if the day
has lost its shoes
that doesn’t mean
it won’t walk barefoot
toward midnight.
Yes, even if it loses its feet,
the day will still crawl—
will slither till its raw
if that’s what it takes—
to make it to tomorrow.
Some days this feels
like a threat, but today,
that certainty, old
and Jurassic-slow as it is,
is the only thing
that keeps me
moving my own feet
toward the next hour.
And the next. And
the next.

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