A Poem: Marking Time

What did you do by the clock today?

Yesterday, at work,
I heard it ticking, collecting seconds,
minutes, conveying them
like little lorries,
scattering them as ashes.

And today I took the car for its service,
dutifully walked, weeded,
did the laundry, the floor,
read by the clock,
as though watched, monitored.

Aware, that discipline,
at least in the home, is not one of my virtues,
so today, why not start?
Why not see the clock as a coach
and life a circuit.

But the emails need replies.
And the looming list,
appointments to be made,
are as garden statues, or slinking cats,
tigers crouching in the mind.

And I hear the clock, ticking,
collecting seconds, moments,
conveying them to various composting piles,
that I find myself preferring to time
the sun and its appearance.

Stretch it out
as a rug under the trees –
where to think of anything at all
is an offence in place of dreaming,
imagining what one would do out beyond the clock

marking time.

Ana Lisa de Jong
Living Tree Poetry
October 2020


‘Be still and know that I am with you.’ Psalm 46:10


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