Friday, February 27, 2009

clock of life

My contribution (late as it is) to February Poetry Month silent poem reading:
I first heard this recited by Jack Klang, a salty old sailor who's teaching seminars now for Quantum Sails.

Clock of Life - a poem loosely based on a poem by Robert Smith

On an ancient wall in China
where a brooding Buddha blinks,
deeply graved is the message-
It is later than you think.

The Clock of life is wound but once
and no man has the power,
to tell just when the hands will stop,
at late or early hour.

Now is all the time you own,
the past a golden link,
go Cruising now my brother-
It is later than you think.

And consider that justification enough for the vacillation on our schedule to go sailing. The clock is moving again.

if you're a purist and don't care for the revised version, here's the original

The clock of life is wound but once,
And no man has the power
To tell just when the hands will stop
At late or early hour.

To lose one's wealth is sad indeed,
To lose one's health is more,
To lose one's soul is such a loss
That no man can restore.

The present only is our own,
So Live, Love, toil with a will --
Place no faith in 'Tomorrow' --
For the clock may then be still.

Robert H. Smith


ACorgiHouse said...

Perfect. I'm making a concerted effort recently to spend less time thinking and talking about living and just doing the living. With your permission, I'm going to tape this to my mirror so I can read it every morning! K

Vicki said...

I like the original best - not because I am a purist but somehow it sings to me more. Thanks for posting it.

Elizabeth said...

Go Cruising Now.

Yeah, I see why that poem speaks to you. ;)

Anonymous said...

They both speak to me but, sadly, the revised version hits hardest following the suicide of a sensitive 23-year-young family member last week, and yesterday's perfect wedding day for my DD.

Carrie K said...

I like both versions. Never too late!

Aw, anonymous. The bitter and the sweet.