Sunday, September 26, 2010

Daylight Saving

for Pam & R O'N-D

I do the dutiful thing
and turn my clocks forward
- or back - but then I conjure up
an extra twelve minutes, nudge them in
to fatten the middle of the hour,
giving myself a little extra
Time to play with.

I am rebel. Thief.

A friend and I agree that Time
and second hands should be tied
behind the backs of doors, banished
bound with flat faces pressed
to the corner. We flip Time around
our wrists, make it lie down. I tell her
I once knew a clock with eyes
instead of hands. It kept watch
from a clean white mantlepiece
in a honey-coloured room.

We listen for chimes outside
the window and when the wind blows
in the right direction, hear Time trip
down the cathedral steps and take
to the streets.

We are tempted to wave as it passes.

CB 2002


  1. This is a fantastic poem, Claire.

    I love your play on words. I love the idea of being able to corral time in this way. I love the idea of a watch watching, and of time being forced to lie down on our wrists.

    Great images throughout. What a triumph. Thanks.

  2. Hi Elisabeth - the fact I add these extra minutes befuddles my offspring (my clocks never match theirs!) but I used to be someone for whom time was a stressor. Having an extra twelve minutes to play with has been helpful in all kinds of ways. And interestingly, I find I'm much more likely to be 'on time' for things these days because I live with a sense of being somehow 'IN time', if that makes sense? Kairos time and Kronos time are not necessarily incompatible it seems! Thanks for your enthusiastic comments re; this poem, Elisabeth. L, C

  3. Lovely, Claire. As if you would be bullied by anyone or anything. This is part of you, making part of your very own Claire-world, where it would be joyous to live in with you, but since we can't, it is a great thing to watch the Claire-world unfolding, illuminating, taking hold of, and turning away. L., M. xx

  4. "fatten the middle of the hour"--surprising, this good kind of fat!

    Oh, I love to let time slip . . .

  5. I think it takes courage to add those extra 12 minutes. I suspect that if I did that I'd always be aware of what I'd done and be doing little sums in my head that would negate the whole process. Wonderful poem, Claire.

  6. Yes to all that and I love Time tripping down the cathedral steps (into the Octagon of course, right under the clock-tower's nose). Also, recent talk of the spiderwoman adds potency to the clock seen through a web of wire.

  7. maggie@at-the-bay.comSeptember 28, 2010 at 8:08 AM

    Oh Claire, that clock with eyes; so vivid in my own memory. We still laugh about cassette tapes we received in the 70's when daylight saving was new in NZ and we were young without kids, living in Norway and my brother-in-law would send us long laments about old-time and new-time and we thought he was stuck in a crazy suburban nightmare. Then we came home, had kids and realised how one silly hour can cause havoc in a family trying to run to a timetable. Enjoy your extra minutes.

  8. Such a potential for tyranny, time. As though it knew all the tricks and we were empty-handed. The temptation to greet it passing from the cathedral seems filled with knowledge that the balance is different than one might think. Love to read your poetry, let my head swim as images carry me away.

  9. Beautiful, just beautiful, Claire.

    I hear resolve in your voice and the balance between your control and flow.

    It's always such a joy to visit you here like this.

  10. Funky--and assured, as always, Claire!

  11. What a refreshing poem, dear Claire. A beautiful garland of wise thoughts. Time can be such and insidious little tyrant.

  12. Yep - love it. Clocks. clocks. clocks. I try not to be tyrannised but then the world starts to complain (about lateness, about forgetting, about my adjusting clocks to suit me...). This is a way to fight back... I love the idea of fattening the hour - and 12 minutes is a crazily good amount. May try and slip that one in.