Saturday, November 23, 2013

Born in Poseidon





Born in Poseidon

“Tomorrow is only found in the
calendar of fools.”--Og Mandino.


Unlike a tree, man does not create
an annual ring to commemorate
the planet’s axial plunge through
solstice & space;

so we float along each moment,
trying to recall the past by snapping pictures,
cataloging memories, keeping diaries,
& writing poetry, while being conditioned
to plan for a future both unresolved
& untouchable, because only the actual
moment is the custodian of our heartbeat
& breath; it is our gift from the gods, 
our legacy from history, and we call it
the present;

but absurdly the world hums all around us
and Calendars push their way into our sphere,
without permission, demanding itineraries,
& if we feel nauseous or vertigo from riding
the calendar-cycles, it becomes much like
chiding my three year old granddaughter
for doing something she shouldn’t--
she just looks up & smiles, saying,
“But Pop, that’s just how I do it.”--

how it’s always been done, creating calendars
from lunar or solar cycles, forcing us to keep
track, to get a grasp on time, “The only thing,”
said Seneca,”given in equal measure to all men”.

Starting with Time itself;
did you know that there are
31 trillion seconds in a year,
525,600 minutes,
& 8,766 hours, or that
1961 can be read upside down
& that will not happen again until
6009, or that the June Geminis
were born during the Greek
month of Poseidon?

Looking into the history of calendars
is like trying to keep track of, or to understand
the history of languages, with all the cultural
& religious cornerstones & determinants.

Making sense out of calendars is not an easy
task, studying the Sumarian, Mayan, Greek, & Roman
ones, lunar or solar or both--many based on
starting dates that have nothing to do with
the birth of Christ;

We are informed that this is the year 2013, 
using the Anno Domini system, calculating
the passage of time as BC & AD, now BCE,
but actually more exactly based on the
Gregorian calendar developed in 1582,
which was a reformation of the Julian Calendar--
as that particular Caesar changed the former
Roman calendar from 10 months & 304 days
to the 365.25 days we can recognize/relate to,
& those Vikings simplified things significantly
by having only two seasons;
Summer--May through September
Winter--October through April. 

I mean even though it is 2013 for most of us,
on the Armenian calendar it is 1464,
on the Hebrew it is 5773,
on the Chinese it is 4709,
on the Buddhist it is 2557,
& on the Byzantine it is 7522.

All I really know is that at some point
you can lose track of days, & simply
be aware of the sun & moon, day & night;
like a man lost & wandering in the desert,
with no timepiece, no calendar--just
being aware of those prominent cycles
of hunger, sleep, & waste elimination--
& this state of blissful ignorance is called
Retirement. 


Glenn Buttkus

Posted over on dVerse Poets Poetics

Would you like to hear the author read this Calendar poem to you?

14 comments:

Victoria said...

When I read your work, Glenn, the word "erudite" comes to mind. I enjoy how you bring together so many aspects of mythology, history, uncommon facts. It's like sitting at the feet of a teacher.

annotating60 said...

Gleen I think you had two distinct poems in one, though they meshed well. I always love your bent of information and walk away knowing more than what I came to your poems with. Really a special piece of work though, this one. Loved it. >KB

Claudia said...

ha - love that quote you start with... it's all about living the moment, right..?
and i wish we had that tree ring concept...sounds much more natural than what we do...and wow... 31 trillion seconds a year... awesome to think of it like that..

Brian Miller said...

ah yes calendars do push in no matter how we try...there is always more to do and things to be done....i like the connection to the tree in the opening...the rings...we all record our history the way we know how...we all mark our days...ever marching forward...

howanxious said...

A wonderful piece. I am thinking about each of your statement and the meaningfulness of it.

Calendars have us think about ourselves in spheres of time. You have given a really good flow to your thoughts. I certainly enjoyed reading your work. :-)

-HA

Björn said...

A joy to read... like a poetic essay you bring the aspects of calender and time into perspective... very nice read.

aprille said...

What a brilliant collection of fascinating facts. Had no ideathat there were so many different year counts around.
Ithink the Vikings made a sensible choice with their two seasons.
Retirement puts a whole new slant on time itself it seems.
A day can seem to last forever, but a year flies by.

Laurie Kolp said...

Enjoyed this, Glenn... especially the 3rd stanza.

freyawrites.com said...

And now I don't know what year I am in! So much information going on in there... where do you find it all?! :)

hyperCRYPTICal said...

Love the close - can't wait for retirement - but will have too!
Anna :o]

blueoran said...

The Celts believed in No-Time, a period generally between All Hallows and Samhain in which times was suspended, the dead come forth, all time is present. Notions of time are a unique product, for better or verse, of consciousness, a construct which is helpful in knowing when to plant and when to harvest but gets to be a real itchy nuisance when our day is plagued with deadliness. I liked the discursive style of this, its working thought, tempered by the occasional appearance of a granddaughter or the thought of retirement. I kept looking for something in the text to explain the title--sort of left hanging up there, which is too bad, because Poseidon's a tumultuous titan who always deserves a good read. Great job though -- Brendan

Glenn Buttkus said...


thanks for the lengthy comment, Brendan. Many believe that on the other side of the veil time does not exist, past, present, & future one flat plane. Poseidon is the Greek month designation for June, thus my line in the poem RE Geminis.

seasideauthor said...

Well done as one's perspective is never easy to find. I live in the last descriptive calendar and it
is a lonely bliss as you
outlive all your friends and
time races on all those calendars. No one can know tomorrow can they? Hard as they try. Numerology and all?

Mystic_Mom said...

LOVE. LOVE. Vertigo from calendars indeed! We need more, "But this is just how I do it!" and less "tomorrow"...great write my friend.