Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Watching

IMG_0239.jpg



Watching


Time for clocks
to come out and play,
to dance while I sleep
cartwheeling on tiny hands,
round faces open, confiding.
In the morning whether
I watched or not
I’m one day 
older.

Ignore the digital display
so professionally alarming. 
It’s a temporary
robot, does nothing artfully
but reorders lifeless circuits
shuffling a shiny LED deck
into green numeric
corpselight by 
the bed.

A good watch dances, has
swisselled movements ever
fluid, cogs clogging, no slippage
on time’s sleet, off its bracelet leash
downstreet as it caracoles
with mechanical ferity
a mime most entertaining
to watch if I could 
watch the watch

watching me
but I’m asleep 
somewhere beyond
the concept of time.
Out boxed in blue forever

precise stars move across
immaculate stage, en pointe
in cyclopean ellipses cog on cog, 
engagements too infinite
for the eye to follow
telling me I'm an hour
which is the sum
of a set of minutes
all dancing.
Work in Progress



November 2011




Posted for    OpenLinkNIght   at dVerse Poets Pub




Optional Musical Accompaniment
Take Your Pick

(with Sheryl Crow)










Header Image: Unloved Watch Teardown, image 0239
Footer Image: Work in Progress
posted by Petteri Sulonen on Flick'r  Petteri blogs at Come to Think of It and Unloved Watches

Photos used with the kind permission of my friend Petteri Sulonen, the blog's technical consultant, guardian of the Red Eye, photographer, full time Renaissance Man, and now part time horologist. 
Thank you Petteri, for the photos, and for the inspiration.

38 comments:

  1. Wow. This is so graceful and fluid. Really beautiful, Hedge.

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  2. Thanks, MZ. Hope you had a great birthday, as Time Goes By.

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  3. funny...i have 2 pocket watches and they are my fav...i love to hear them moving and watch them for sure...just had them out showing the boys yesterday...

    A good watch dances, has
    swisselled movements ever
    fluid, cogs clogging, no slippage
    on time’s sleet, off its bracelet leash
    downstreet as it caracoles
    with mechanical ferity
    a mime most entertaining
    to watch if I could
    watch the watch

    that captures its magic very nice...also like the dance references as well...time itself is a whole other concept and there are plenty of times i would like to step out of it...

    can we get a youtube of that cartwheel you are doing? smiles.

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  4. Something Newtonian and Enlightenment-crazed about the watch- and clock-works of this poem, dancing, somehow, with that bouncing red monkey's hat. Nothing nuttier than a conception, anyway, and what a relief to slip under its fence to run free with dreams. And what would a fine watch be without such precise articulations and coignage -- "swisselled movements," "caracoles/with mechanical ferity" and "cyclopean ellipses", badabing badabam. I'm seeing a psychedelic Steve Earle band playing against a throbbing Escher print of The Clockworks. Uh, what time is? - Brendan

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  5. Lots to like in this; playfully and well-sustained conceptually, with the vision of the clocks coming out, watching you, especially vivid. Time's a great subject for a poem, and you do very well by it. "... caracoles / with mechanical ferity" is memorable.

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  6. love your take on time here hedge..but I’m asleep
    somewhere beyond
    the concept of time..this is great..like disconnected..also love the mechanical watches where you see the wheels turn and everything...and in switzerland i'm in just the right country for this..

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  7. I LOVE this line: "cartwheeling on tiny hands"

    I'm totally picturing Beauty and the Beast. :)

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  8. something magical about your words, reminded me of lice in wonderland for some reason. i love your way with words and your metaphor. awesome!!!

    Kellie

    http://magicinthebackyard.wordpress.com/2011/11/22/hard-cider/

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  9. TIME - an abstract concept we just cant escape - even in when we sleep ... it eats.

    as it caracoles
    with mechanical ferity
    a mime most entertaining
    to watch if I could
    watch the watch

    some combinations and flow in here that sent me back to the future - lol -

    i'll go get the Dolarean and pick you up we'll head for 66

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  10. I thoroughly enjoyed the whimsey displayed within your words.

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  11. The only good time keeper rides too high in the sky for human error to have its way with her...or so we one time naively thought! You and Brendan are singing me all the way home tonight...and you can bet I'm going to keep right on dancing! Wonderful weave as always!

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  12. Love, love this piece especially the last stanza-compelling poetry.

    Audrey Howitt (Divalounger)

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  13. A lovely piece, love the element of time throughout, and the various aspects you've highlighted. The metaphors do not go unnoticed, as subtle as you painted them to be. And the finale is really great. What a great write, like it a lot, thanks

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  14. This brings up the philosophical question: If I were a watch, would I want to be watched?
    My every movement under close scrutiny around the clock? Would it drive me crazy, till I became a ticking time bomb?

    Not on MY watch!

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  15. Thanks all--I am having company, cleaning and going crazy over the holidays, (in a mostly good way) so bear with me if I don't make it by till later. I so appreciate everyone enjoying this--it was fun to write. Hope all in the US have a good Turkey Slaughter Day.

    @Timo: You ARE a ticking time bomb--or maybe a timed tick bomb. Either way, I don't have time for this kind of minutia. I'm not getting paid by the hour here.

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  16. I have a love of the old clock faces and a disdain for the LED ones, and yet I have just as many of the latter. "precise stars move across
    immaculate stage, en pointe
    in cyclopean ellipses cog on cog,
    engagements too infinite
    for the eye to follow" love that! The ultimate time keeper.

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  17. Never thought of my digital clock as lazy... ha! And guess what I have my phone alarm set on? An "old fashioned" alarm sound. :)

    en pointe
    in cyclopean ellipses cog on cog

    Lovely. And your workspace area is fantastic. It has inspired me to beautify mine and take a photo soon! :)

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  18. Great poem...love these lines...engagements too infinite
    for the eye to follow
    telling me I'm an hour
    which is the sum
    of a set of minutes
    all dancing.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

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  19. What, no Chambers Brothers? Still, lovin' the musical selections, especially the Simon and Gar.

    I like the "bracelet leash".

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  20. You've set yourself a high bar here, encapsulating mechanical with imagination. There's much to commend and many fine lines. I find myself wondering about the ending and thinking that a few lines pruned and tightened up would not make this even more powerful.

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  21. great playfulness on and with words here.
    Are you watched?
    to watch if I could 
    watch the watch

    swisselled is a neat neologism. it works here.

    and this:
    an hour
    which is the sum
    of a set of minutes
    all dancing.

    very clever piece.
    the dancing and mime-like caracoles down streets.

    love this poem.

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  22. LOVE IT (if I use my operatic voice you may be able to hear that in Oklahoma from my mountain :). Seriously, this one surprised and delighted me, you're so amazingly clever! The language is precise, as a any good watch builder would dream of; the allusions witty and deep; and the flow immaculate. Thank you, I'll leave you a spiral seed pod, the antique watch face necklace off the shamanic doll I bought in Albuquerque, and John Nystrom's hexadecimal (base 16) clock face I learned about reading another poem, and any extra time I find laying around. Did I mention I love this poem? Happy Thanksgiving!

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  23. I so love this one, Hedge. Especially "a set of minutes all dancing". Lovely.

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  24. very interesting..I have always found time fascinating

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  25. Time is a ballet and you've written a fine jeweled piece.

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  26. The cosmic design... I liked your lines...

    'A good watch dances, has
    swisselled movements ever'

    ... beautiful use of Swiss movements... thanks

    Shashi
    ॐ नमः शिवाय
    Om Namah Shivaya
    http://shadowdancingwithmind.blogspot.com/2011/11/whispers-sighs.html
    At Twitter @VerseEveryDay

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  27. I agree that you are absolutely clever. Because of my job, I haven't worn a watch in years (and use my "non-ticking" cellphone to tell time)
    I miss my watch :)

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  28. Now Joy, I have to say, if these are the sorts of dreams you have, even your subconscious is worlds of more interesting than me :P. A curious, cosmic ballet of time my friend - always a wonder to see what you'll weave for us next!

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  29. A dance choreographed by the ghost of human longing. Time is but an illusion, anyway. Loved the image of you sleeping despite it, through it and beyond.
    Gene

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  30. I should have known that you could write a poem about clocks so well, and make time dance for you. I already knew you were an hour of dancing minutes, so while that is a beautiful revelation and final line, it's one of those surprises that I recognized as something known.

    Happy Thanksgiving! Don't work too hard, and be sure to get a couple of good naps in while you don't watch the clock.

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  31. My favorite phrase "has
    swisselled movements ever
    fluid"...I LOVE this!

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  32. As always, your word choices are perfect for the tone. Time moves on without caring about our wishes, doesn't it? By the way, I truly believe that alarm clocks are evil. I just had to say that. Wonderful work.

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  33. This is definitely a Steve Earle kind of poem. It's thrilling for me to learn new words and I learned two in this poem- caracoles and cyclopean. I can't wait to steal them. When you add the made words- swisseled and ferity, it becomes rich, and fun and sets a whole new world dancing. Thanks.

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  34. I wonder how you can write such beautiful pieces and they looks so effortless when you read them.. such a unique take on time ..and loved the lines sleeping out of concept of time.. this is a fantablous

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  35. Love it! Love the idea! Love it all.

    In the morning whether
    I watched or not
    I’m one day
    older.

    -is brilliant!

    Temporary robot!! The language, concept, story! Great Great Great!

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  36. A wonderful take on time, realy original content, I loved it.

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  37. Maybe we only age when we are asleep.... Time ticks off our life essence in those moments it catches us offguard. Excellent poem. Like your music selections in this post and the others.

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'Poetry is an echo asking a shadow to dance' ~Carl Sandburg