Clock Tower of the Ages

Over the smoke-haired morning runners,

A dusty brick tower, in cement, tells time:

Morning, noon, evening, four minutes to one,

Without the farce of movement, history’s banal rhyme.

The constancy of wall-hugging smoke-rivulets,

Which Dickens might have seen in distant Victoria;

Or the umbrella-tops of dying intellect

Running far, yet more towards plainblood hysteria,

Which may call for languor verses,

In the sweat of yesterday,

That had woken up with today’s birdcall –

Backstage conflict in life’s play

The factory street fills up with eyes

Shut from the hot, nine o’clock surge

Of the rest of the tropical day,

Settling over the midclass windows’ verge

And to think of the only wise eye,

Not surrendering to half-felt motion:

The brick turret, bright with its hands pointing midday:

The wisdom of being stone, asleep to emotion.


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