Poetry October 2013

Ship's Clock

The ship’s clock, stowed in a box
for its passage to the beach each summer,
continues to chime every four hours
(first watch ... dog watch ... )
inside the cedar closet.

I look up from my desk and wonder
what that rounded sound could be,
then remember the clock,
all polished brass, still marking
the watches of a distant ocean.

So a prisoner might sing,
alone in a cell; or the songbird
serenade bright fronds
of leaf and fern, though caged
in the dark of a northern city.

The bird has its arias,
the clock its mathematics.
I string words together
wherever I am—
in planes, in waiting rooms—

forcing the actual to sink
and disappear
beneath the bright
and shimmering surface
of the half-imagined.

Linda Pastan’s recent collections include Traveling Light (2011) and Queen of a Rainy Country (2006). She lives in Maryland.
Presented by

Google Street View, Transformed Into a Tiny Planet

A 360-degree tour of our world, made entirely from Google's panoramas

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Google Street View, Transformed Into a Tiny Planet

A 360-degree tour of our world, made entirely from Google's panoramas

Video

The 86-Year-Old Farmer Who Won't Quit

A filmmaker returns to his hometown to profile the patriarch of a family farm

Video

Riding Unicycles in a Cave

"If you fall down and break your leg, there's no way out."

Video

Carrot: A Pitch-Perfect Satire of Tech

"It's not just a vegetable. It's what a vegetable should be."

Video

The Benefits of Living Alone on a Mountain

"You really have to love solitary time by yourself."
More back issues, Sept 1995 to present.

Just In