The Old Clock

The old clock chimes in my brother’s house,
just as it chimed
in my fathers,
just as it chimed
in my grandfathers,
just as it chimed
in my great grandfathers.
Its painted metal face implacable
as it viewed the history of our family
across continents,
states, towns, streets.
Long dead hands wound
the delicate balanced brass pendulum
as future hands will touch
its skillfully carved oaken case-
strong against the changing years,
weathering hard times
and passively enduring the good.
Holding in its ornately constructed hands
the minutes and hours of our days-
to chime in my brothers house
just as it will chime
in my nephews
just as it will chime
in the home of those yet born.
The old clock chimes.

truth and untruth

Its not the thought but its passing
that leans hard into the wind-
out standing words left
in the dust of regret and failure,
too soon forgotten
and no longer regarded.
Nouns and verbs
hanging on the line,
flapping in the cold breeze of memory.
The tales told will not be remembered
and the lies or untruths
are not long for this world.
Speak now or forever
hold your peace.
What peace is this that you should call it so?
What water under the bridge
flows directly to the point
of no return?
When will the words that must be said
be said – so that the ears and hearts will hear?
Such truths may be self evident
but not realized
until the final trumpet sounds.

Altar of Lost Things

Keys that unlock
long left locks and the wooden button
from my winter coat,
motherhood and children,
and one brown sock,
a friendship untended,
luggage loaned,
a father, a home,
an umbrella left on the train,
my grandmother’s brooch,
a favorite book, a tree covered lane.

Growing longer each year,
words and regrets,
lists of things lost,
unrecoverable, irretrievable,
bound vellum sets in
ink stained chains of script
words written between the lines
and around the margins
erased, glued, sewn,
thin and tattered,
so as not to forget.

I leave the long list upon the altar,
and lighting the candle,
the scent of rue and asphodel fill the air.

A Day in the Life

The Beatles tune keeps running thru my head -
“I read the news today, oh boy.”
over all the talking heads
and well groomed, earnest readers.
“And though the news was rather sad
Well I just had to laugh.”

Feeling lucky to have the satellite company
that’s feuding with Ted Turner-
leaving a block of channels
(ordinarily filled with opinion and conjecture
dressed up as NEWS)
just not there.

Sweet relief-
no news is good news.
We cuddle in the chill autumn air
watching breaking news-
wild geese descend onto the still waters of the cove.
Film at eleven.

“I’d love to turn you on”

** A Day in the Life by McCartney, Lennon and Harris.