Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Concerto For Time Bandits

image borrowed from bing

Concerto For Time Bandits

“Old Time--his factory is a secret place, his work
is noiseless, & his hands are mute.”--Charles Dickens.

TIME: A non-spatial continuum in which events occur in
apparently irreversible succession from the past through
the present to the future.

The White Rabbit dashes about the Queen’s maze
                             staring at his large pocket watch:
                  I’m late, I’m late
                  for a very important date--
but like a gerbil spinning on his exercise wheel,
                             he went nowhere fast,           in a conflict
                             with inertia, caught forever
                             within the thorny parameters of the Now;
a prisoner,
a victim,                painfully aware that victory does not
                             always go to the swift--
just ask Tom Tortoise. 

Each of us squats comfortably
                              on our very own section of this planet,
                                                 trying valiantly to understand
                                                 latitude, & all those damned
Time Zones.          I reside in the Northwest, my wife is visiting
family in Texas, & as I write this she is two hours ahead of me,
                              while my oldest daughter in Maryland exists
three hours ahead--& so it goes traveling East  
                              ripping through zone after zone
traveling in an unbroken circle
                              until you bump into the butt of your own shadow,
arriving right back where you started; while some bush pilot
                              in Alaska struggles an hour behind me.
            When I traveled to Australia from California,
            dipping deep into the upside down reality of the Southern
            Hemisphere, speeding 8000 miles in 18 hours, I arrived
in Sydney the day before I left, & hey, when I returned, I arrived
            in LA 2 hours before I departed. 

Sometimes I find it to be fun to stop by a Clock Shop,
& stand in the actual moment
completely surrounded by thousands
of clicking, clanking, squeaking, whirring & twitching
springs & wheels housed in hundreds of time pieces--
                each a microcosm unto itself, a mechanical
miniature universe, inhabited by
                a vast population of dust mites, & while
our imagination has been focused so microscopically,
                 we take the opportunity to peer even further
                 within to a sub-atomic world
                 where a grain of sand
would appear to loom as large as Ayers Rock,
                 where Time stands still--

and that doesn’t even scratch the surface
                 of attempting to master or understand 
even while dropping into a whirlpool or worm hole,
                  folding back the edges of dimensional reality,
                  rocketing unimaginable distances
                                  while violating the laws of physics,
without even considering the metaphysical postulates
that beyond the Veil, Time does not,
                                           can not exist--
where Past, Present, & Future cohabit a linear continuum,
       the mysteries
                       of Life all
                                  become beautiful
                                                          pods of clarity.

So, what the hell time is it, you ask?
Well, you are standing in the pivotal center of it,
& it is later than you think,
& earlier than you would like it to be. 

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over on dVerse Poets Poetics

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


Claudia said...

i find the time zones fascinating... when i flew to london i arrived before i left - ha - almost...smiles
love the standing in the moment by a clock shop... time can be such a gift and such a frightening master as well... still dreaming about time traveling though..smiles

Mary said...

The question of what time it is certainly is more difficult than it seems, isn't it? Especially when one flies across several time zones. The White Rabbit is probably always a bit late; but we also have to remember that it is always Happy Hour somewhere. Smiles.

Gabriella said...

Time zones are indeed fascinating. Different members of my family live in different time zones so it is part of my routine to think about them. What amazes me most is that, despite its huge size, China has only one.

Managua Gunn said...

Nothing beats the author reading the poem! Wonderful, wonderful idea, and brought your verse to another level...and very well read by the way..

Jenny Herner said...

Brilliant response to the prompt, Glenn! Wonderful!

Sherry Blue Sky said...

This is so humorous and entertaining. I especially loved the bumping into your own butt shadow....and the time change in the trip to Australia. If only one could do that with YEARS, sometimes, and regain a few lost ones!!!!!

Victoria said...

I find the whole concept of time zones confusing...especially when you travel somewhere that lands you on a different date. I really like how you clothed this in a bit of fable, a bit of science and touched on the reality of this illusion we call time.

Bodhirose said...

This was totally entertaining to read, Glenn...thanks for that. Time is an interesting element in our lives for sure.

michaelt said...

Time zones fascinate me too Glenn. It is odd to fly fro Sydney to Canada and arrive there six hours after I left. Then again going home I lose a whole day. Entertaining poem enjoyed it.

Anonymous said...

wow!!! Mind blowing words and so artistic visionary that you are.

I love this poem of yours my friend. :)

Sumana Roy said...

like now i'm already in the home of your tomorrow...it's 23rd here...a fascinating write...

j said...

There are some superb lines here, and I love the way the initial light and humorous look gives way to a more serious examination of Time. Stumps the hell out of me, with or without the Time Zones!

Anonymous said...

Oh and don't get me started on daylight savings time! loved the time zone traveling until you meet yourself - very cool ending lines too! K

Truedessa said...

I always know when I come here to read I will find something unique.

Standing in the moment by a clock shop..brilliant line..
This made me pause to contemplate

Grace said...

Interesting conundrum of time & its zones are always fascinating ~ My family lives half a world away from me so time is always a challenge for me ~ Through it all, time is never still, always a river ~

Margaret said...

The time is now. Perhaps that is the only important thing. I LOVED this. I went in the pet store to get dog food the other day and just watched the gerbil run and run and run and… getting nowhere of course. (kind of like me on a treadmill). Anyway, really enjoyed this and the beginning and ending where quite clever as well… leads one in quite charmingly and then we leave with a LOT to ponder.

sharonlee said...

Hi... I did enjoy this... both reading and then listening... cleverly composed.

Its 9:48 pm Wednesday 23-Jul-14 here

Mark Butkus said...

I feel your trepidation with time zones. It is very disconcerting when traveling and an added bonus when you land someplace new and don't have to adjust your clock...

Anonymous said...

This was absolutely fascinating! I loved both the words and the sound.. truly though-provoking. Interesting idea of a sub-atomic world, and the clockshop was a cool touch! :)

Marina Sofia said...

Ha, those last two lines say it all really!
I travel sometimes so much that my body clock gets all confused and the time zones become meaningless. As long as there is always time for a coffee and for reading a poem, though, I'm happy...

Arathi Harihar said...

i loved this..so true..what time is it is the question which will have so many different answers..related to different time zones..:)

RMP said...

time is most definitely an interesting creature...I think you captured it well or as well as anyone can capture time. the idea of standing in the middle of a clock shop sounds quite interesting.

Kathy said...

Tom Tortoise, clock shop, to pilots to worm holes - you nailed it, but volumes could/have been written on the subject and I don't think anyone can capsulize it better than you have. I'd certainly like to violate me some 'laws of physics', see what's behind the veil. Well done.

Akila G said...

here, there, everywhere...these time zones and how each one makes into a universe of its own as if that one was the only one existing!fascinating piece...

Madhura said...

Lovely poem.. I'm already a time zone ahead of you... About the clock shop, I did just that when I was traveling.. found an antique shop, with a collection of vintage clocks of all shapes and sizes, a wonderful, ticking living moment worth experiencing.. wonderfully written! :-)