Friend of Time


You, Friend of Time,
in bed with that God.
Best not to sleep so many hours;
but how to wake while
the dream is unknown
and feels like led upon you?

You dream of Autumn, which has its clock
(like so many gods)
watching quartz rings circle
around the many rocks of the many rivers.
Such a clock stops
for you, alone.
Oh that happy love you had,
but time is there to betray you
true, on-the-hour
and to-the-bone, when that god
finds out about you. Still sleeping sound.

What can you do but run,
even if you only lie dreaming?
What can you do but call out,
even ever without answer;
what if there’s nothing
but to believe in something?
What if dust was so much more?
What if stones were all it took
—Shiva lingams and pyrite,
poi pounders and that god’s dirt—
to worship so that you might
hurl them and break something?
Perhaps it’s just glass that keeps you sleeping,
and so you shatter it all about you!
Only to find out
Time has no easy boundary,
no stone, no wall to topple and mend
and it was not hurt, you did not break it
even though you shattered.


10,000 years have gone now
an Ice Age
a nap
the dawn of civilization
but here you are, now.
All that is left for you
is to collect the shaking shards of glass
among the Leaves of Grass,
of all the springs and autumns
whose pieces fell around you
like clockwork
when you tried to find
a way out.

You pick up those pieces
with the calloused hands of your father
with the very creases of beingness
yet with no words to help you.
You place the pieces of glossy time
speckled with your blood,
into glass vases
thinking this is to be your work now.
The vases fill up your houses, and in fact
keep you company
for some of their time.
While every day for tea
Your mother’s voice asks you
from her earthen rocking chair
“Tell me again of your lover Time—
Who was he? What did he do?”
But there’s nothing to say,
no more names to call him,
even though you cry them out.

In your despair
your words take form somehow, familiar
shapes of circles to be
broken and revisited, pieced.
And in these houses of yours (or were they dreams?)
somehow you’ve lost another door
and your houses are crowded,
so you lay upon the pieces you’ve collected
the tapestry of your despair
and you wonder what it is
to be the friend of Time.


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