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Time and Density

November 16, 2011

As Mr. Levine has opened the subject of the density of the infinite with his post on time, I thought I would respond with a poem. I have revised this once; I may do so again, although it feels complete and finished as I read it today.


Crystalline sparkle from twin blue sapphires
Skates glistening figures on my icy soul.
An unweighted plumb line in a wind storm of self doubt
I dreamed of an hourglass taking its sand from Sea Isle City.

One date in March, one date, the music critic from Rolling Stone
Told her friend how to play his guitar.
She loved him anyway.
A sandcastle half as big as the beach
Queues up to fill the hourglass.

A serpent coils dreamily, deep in his abdomen.
Bright, orange flame shadows the deep ruby scales.
Her breath whistles through his soul, making the snake
Alive and happy.
His, hers, whispering, knowing.

To all things (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
Orderly and with patience, the grains of sand begin
Their inexorable crawl downward;

One, two, three grains of life;
One, two, three grains of love.
Happiness felt in the soul cannot be held in the hand.

First maintaining two separate forms
The fields under our feet furrow as we pass, and pass, and pass again.
Some stroll by oblique to the congruent rows we plough.
The day is done.

The equipment sleeps, the drivers vanish.
We climb from our furrows.
His words, her words, his breath, her breath,
Dazzling orange heat, endless ruby scales,
One cannot be distinguished from the other.
One grain of sand squeezes through the hourglass, then another…

The autumn winds reach to Sea Isle City
A sandcastle dances in the Indian summer breeze,
Spread between the toes of children enjoying one last weekend.
Sun beats on the hourglass, now dripping naked.
The sunshine teaches the sand,
Once stoically guarding the hourglass behind castle walls,
To dance, flexible and free.

Two rivers become one.
Why is this metaphor a lie?
Why does the Ohio swirl so much harder?
Why does the sand flow faster as each crystal
Becomes a more practiced dancer?

Cruel words train the dancers.
We destroy.
They pirouette, always downward.
The finely honed edges of lovers’
Words draw blood on impact.
I can almost see through the hourglass.

It all depends on you, final grain of sand.
Flow through as every skillful dancer before you.
The hourglass is empty.
Contort, spread, resist.
Claim the stage. Do not yield.
The performance has not ended
Until the final dancer struts and frets across the stage,
Signifying nothing – nothing remaining.
Two lives, begun in grace, are all but over.

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