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Friday, 21 October 2011

Stirrings of the Temporal



A typical Deutsche Bahn railway station clock
: photo by Etan J. Tal, 6 September 2002

The two o'clock quake rocked the clock
a sharp jolt followed by a slow shaking rumble
and out popped the bird

The eight o'clock quake said double trouble
just under us, just underlining the obvious
but the clock? kept on running, and the cats

chased that bird back to slumberland.
Later the driver had to stop the bus
twice, not for geology

but for the dotty old dame in the electric chair who rides
to the end of the line and back again
every night, demanding

the driver stop and roll out the apparatus
every time. It's all just for fun. The bird goes in
and out of the clock. Random stops.

Everyone either not noticing or pretending not
to notice. All these little

File:Bristol Bus Station  clocks.jpg

Bristol bus station clocks: photo by Rob Brewer, 2005

File:Liesing Quando est hora ultima 23052007 01.jpg

Sundial on steeple of parish church, Liesing, Carinthia, Austria: photo by Johann Jaritz, 2007

Early cuckoo clock, Black Forest, 1760-1780 (Deutsches Uhrenmuseum, Furtwangen)


Anonymous said...

"just under us, just underlining the obvious" is a brilliant line. Every quiver that quakes me from my workaday inebriation, at home and at office, is the feeling of inevitability, the forgetting of poetry, and the reminder of prose -- "my clarity is genuine, not false, while my dread, as you in your pathetic hope imagine it, does not exist."

TC said...

Brad, if I'm guessing correctly, you were rocked yesterday too... As they say in the Strasse, "You feel me?"

ACravan said...

This is such a good companion piece to the Arp: clean, well-crafted, curious, mysterious, functional -- just like a cuckoo clock. Canyonesque arrived yesterday and looked so beautiful when I opened the package. I started in the middle and loved Riches and Pulp. I also liked the page format and knowing when and where my book was made. Curtis

Anonymous said...

I was indeed, like a hurricane. Or, rather, like a cluster of "that felt worse than it was" tremors. The dog was not amused.

TC said...

Thanks very much, O ye elite distinguished friends.

Brad, our cats were not amused, either. But their consciousness is ahistorical. They got over it.

Nin Andrews said...

Yes, it must be the season of quakes. Even Ohio, dull and immobile as it appears is capable of a few. Nothing canyonesque about this area,which is still awaiting the arrival of such wonders . . .

TC said...

From the deep past emerge the faint voices of the women of my family, asking archly (of this or that), "Will wonders never cease?"

We become those who have preceded us. Though on the West Side of Chicago, there were, fortunately, never earthquakes to wonder archly about. Those women had "enough on their plate", as the saying goes, I guess, without having the table start rocking on them.



"The two o'clock quake rocked the clock" -- didn't feel it here (driving around the lagoon, a kingfisher on the telephone wire also apparently undisturbed ), nor the eight o'clock one either (why not? maybe because we live out here on the Pacific Plate?). . .


light coming into sky above still black
ridge, white curve of moon above branch
in foreground, sound of wave in channel

in which time and dimension
make appearance, here

made “geometrical,” already
itself, pictures that

grey white of fog against top of ridge,
shadowed green pine on tip of sandspit

vazambam (Vassilis Zambaras) said...

Imagine if every quake left us with such a poem--if it did and if you were living here in Messenias, Tom, you would have written over 1000 poems in the last three months! Earthshaking,eh?

(By the way, I'm way behind schedule.)

TC said...


I'd be a nervous wreck.


These tremors emanated from deep beneath the Clark Kerr Campus.

(Formerly known as The California School of the Deaf, Dumb and Blind.)