Implied subject || sottofondo: by Bonnie McClellan

It is the thing that lies under
under lies
below the foundation
like a time signature
signalling in silence:
we are.

È la cosa che sta sotto
sotto    stante.
sotto il fondo.…….
come il tempo quaternario
segnalando in silenzio

By bonniemcclellan

Mother, poet, american ex-pat from Texas living in Northern Italy.


  1. This is both beautiful and profound in its brevity, Bonnie. The idea that substance, essence, or even existence of a thing (there, by extension) is ‘like a time signature’ is a powerful one – at least until the question of the ontological status of time is perceived by the associated mind implied!

    1. Thank you so much, I’m glad that it wasn’t as obtuse as I thought! In Italian it’s even nicer because the word ‘tempo’ is exceptionally dense; it means time, tense, and musical tempo (among others).

    2. Hello Brad. You make a really interesting point here. One day I’m going to turn up on your doorstep for a philosophy tutorial. Right now I’m going to scurry away and check up on Heidegger. I think he’s the bloke I need to consult!

  2. Bonnie,

    What a beautiful way to wake up on a Sunday morning.

    Back to basics…and the essence of our simple lives.

    Boy O’ boy, what we’ve forgotten??

    Thanks for the wake up call!

    I hope all is well,


    Sent from my iPhone


  3. Love the staccato created by the Line breaks And the repetitions at the end. You must work all the time. I have not written a line since the international contest.

    Bisous Liliane

    Sent from the desk of Liliane G. Richman


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