Tuesday, 13 October 2009


My Grandmother's Clock

It sits on my mantelpiece

my grandmother's clock

and I should very much like

to ask the clock to tell me

of everything it knows

of my grandmother and her time.

But we all know it is a mere

affectation of literature

to ask a clock what it knows

for the face of the clock is eyeless

the hands of the clock do not feel

it tells the hours unknowing

and it speaks, but says nothing but "tick",

and although it stopped when she died

(at a great age, in her own home)

this fact in itself was without

any metaphysical cause

(there was no-one to wind it up).

So it sits on my matelpiece

my grandmother's clock

and a hundred years from now

it will sit on someone else's

and its eyeless face will look on

a world I shall never see

and its unfeeling hands will tell

hours I shall never know

and still it says nothing but "tick".



My horoscope said

that events of this week

would improve my morals

so I'm waiting.

(I know this was a misprint for "morale"

but surely mistakes of this kind

must be supernaturally inspired?)



You haven't seen Philip for twenty years

and you think, "Well,

he may have a better job than me

but he looks a lot older than me!"

And Philip looks at you

and maybe he thinks the same.


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