Friday, February 3, 2017

Kit Kelen - #394 - do you remember

do you remember

the moment when time was discovered?

it sounds like Julius Sumner Miller
but it's long before that
no school ever taught us to breathe with the clock
or know that the heart hammers under

do you remember hearing it first?

Christmas wouldn't come

though you couldn't have put it this way
at that point
you're sure that you'll live forever

and then we come to say the hours
colours, seasons, inland rivers
it's all forever named

the world's as flat and still as looking
then someone says it's round

you never need to mention language
it's a word for each thing at a time
three is yellow
four is green
and five of course is blue

no one's mentioned mystery
but it's up to you

existence is an opening
the whole world's onto then

so I suppose the soul's considered

it's plasticine and Perkin's paste
the dinosaurs dance
see the skeletons under

later there's the Mercurochrome moment
bit of bark off, knees are skinned
see then that healing's a kind of forever
pick at it, pick at it, slap

tie your own laces
the Mőbius instance
once known – forever done

and so one recognises that for our purposes
time has neither beginning nor end
but we come along
slipped somehow into the running stream
and that's life... it goes on

and it runs on
into the afternoon so
odd moments out of need and want
as suited to reflection

let's say a certain sunbeam
with dustmotes
or you know that everything is atoms
then you take that not for seeing
but for symptom of the truth

dreams bubble up
and you must guess
that they were always dreamt

so play with yourself as much as allowed
we come to the Periodic Table

ogle after
or you're sought
take turns
you learn to tie
you pick out a first dress

and now there's Keats and Mozart, Rembrandt
Rachmaninoff not yet
the names fall on us like confetti

there was a time you could shrug them off
but the radio insisted

there's a moment – and a good long while
you know you're loved and needed somewhere
just for a self you are

and sometime then some others die
who were that way with you
a funeral first!
you the see the stream can run to dust
in a certain summer
that sun's a bastard then

still the rains return
for we who remain
who are here to run with time
we're grateful for a roof
and solemn
we have a Bible of words for it
time's stuck fast in them

and guess at the rust we might outlast
guess which tin lengths see us out
or should

on the wall we stare it down
some cynicism kills the time
watch how top of the clock it comes still
train still maybe a minute away
but then you notice the acceleration
the hundred pockets of the day
bulge with all to do
the year of resolution flounders
then years, then resolution too

it's like the map's rolled up behind us
how did we get to here?
you could curse your choice of century

long as a wingbeat
tombed with time
how we have wished
and wishes won

this is the prison
we build from inside
all at it headlong

grey rides back like a moon-tugged tide
then in the mirror you'll observe
that we're the wrinkled sea

there's a moment you look forward to
when you know the end's not far
and wonder how your world adds up
and how you've added

how it will be when you're not
there's a moment you know
you'll never know

and so that's it for certainty
then time lies curled around us
for a question

we're naked in
right now


  1. Oh Kit, you've not just nailed it, but hammered it out, so it shines.

  2. There is more unhappiness now
    though my capacity for joy increases
    I remember the thousand hours
    spent as a boy hunting for treasure
    roaming the countryside
    with my pack of mates
    certain of gold or something

  3. so true, so genuinely expressed and yet so universal !


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