REGULATOR: love song to an analogue clock
I have such a tick tock
pendulum clock on the kitchen wall.
Though it came with you, I’ve called it mine
(after all, it sat in my lap,
my fat, pregnant belly shielding it from the shock
of a stone paved road, gone to seed)
since it was brought from where you were
to count your. my. our. time.
Like my grandfather’s banjo clock
but older and cheaper,
MADE IN JAPAN
with face of printed paper,
to look like wood,
tiny gilded flowers faded.
A late addition atop it sits:
(India slender not China round)
a small, golden Buddha
from a town just north of BEE. Be. Being. Was.
I’ve grown so accustomed to the sound
I notice it only, when paying attention
Reliable ghost of the town bells,
which ring the mass and the hour / half hour
(though my clock, by choice, does not).
I am like my grandfather these days
(awake at 5 by 9 asleep);
I don’t, like he,
get out a shortwave radio and
listen for Greenwich’s distant beep,
add six to arrive in Central Texas,
then wind and set my clock
on a given day each week.
I can hear the beep on the BBC’s
but I rather look past,
where my clock’s hands have stopped time
on its foxed paper face,
to the prescient clock on the town’s bell tower.
I open the round glass,
open the pendulum case,
remove the dark and heavy, little key,
turn ten times counter clockwise in its given notch,
remove the key and hear the
as it touches the bottom of the case
Not closing it,
I raise my finger and catch
time’s arrow-tipped minute
hand and turn it clockwise until it twins
the tower time.
I try to keep my index fingertip
from touching the foxed paper of the stopped face
not wanting it to scar,
I close the glass
over scissor-like hands and
set the round, bronze
on its slender, stem of lacquered lath.
Check for a tick equidistant from the tock,
close the case and turn the lock.
copyright Bonnie M. Broussard, all rights reserved.
ORDER NO CONTROL
Regulation is an inner world
That doesn’t need any kind of clock
To separate the one and only
Instant where life is standing still
Far beyond oblivion
Or close to it
Depends on the ravens
Staying on your shoulders
Regulation is a breath
Grand open like a smile
Crossing the rainbow
In full flavour harmonies
Le rythme de la pendule
[une constante (ab)sourde]
C’est rien qu’un miroir déformé
De la (ca)danse du cœur
Time is a fascinating creature. This is a beautiful love song. It struck me this morning that if analogue clocks are regulators; digital clocks are distributors.
Thank you for stopping by to read. It is wonderful how the analogue refers always back to itself and its recursive mechanical function while the digital, dispersive, spreads ever outward from a constantly emitting centre. After reading your comment I enjoyed thinking about the applications of the image – and ended up with the thought of a pipe organ with a digital relay vs. one with a foot pump. Thank you for that gift :).
ROCK AROUND NO CLOCK
La danse du coeur
Le mouvement des paupières
Sur des tempos d’argile
Il n’est qu’un pendule
Pour rythmer le battement
Qui défie l’équilibre
Sans espoir de succès
Pulse le temps
Le long de mes tempes
Rien ne siffle ailleurs
Que sur l’eau qui bout
This is delightful. I love that tick-tock-here-we-go beginning; the sideways references to ‘you’, the expected baby, the grandfather; the varied sounds of town bells, radio time checks & the intimate sounds of the clock itself; and all that geography from Japan to Texas via India, China and somewhere else (where are we?). And here the thing itself is: a Regulator, with a little buddha on top. Delightful!
So glad that you enjoyed it. We’re in Northern Italy and the clock was given to my husband in exchange for some work he did for an antiques dealer. Like the bells that go off every day, most often I don’t even notice the sound until it isn’t there.