The Steady Clockwork Rise and Fall of Time



Reincarnation is like show business, you just keep on doing it until you get it right.

– Shirley MacLaine, from Out On A Limb

Today the New Age  

seems suddenly old, its angel  

robes, jeweled turbans, silver  

moons worn thin.  Just a little  

too much reverb in that last  

channeled message from God  

knows who or where or when, and I'm  

under the table, searching  

for hidden speakers, slide projectors - my  

shoes, because, really,  

I must be going now,  

to church, or the library, someplace  

really old, accountable, where  

all the distant voices once  

shook real human tongues, and the love-worn  

faces of books or marble Saints remind me  

that just one incarnation, age upon age,  

has always been tough enough for anyone  

to grasp - The golden ring of just one life  

is won by reaching, reaching,  

dizzy and delighted, sometimes  

sick enough to puke, but never  

riding more than just one horse,  

on a carousel turning  

forever round and round,  

its spindle sunk deep  

in the good, hard earth,  

age upon age,  

unmoved by whirling visions,  

reliably counting out  

the steady clockwork rise and fall of time.

 return to contents