My Clock

by Fred Leeds

I have a clock that is alive.
It measures the waking and the sleep of the spinning earth.
It knows all ordinary time, and it knows the times before times,
When China suddenly awakens in Korea’s sleep.
While this clock is mine and was born with me,
It also ticks the tides of earth,
Cycling from birth to death
In all my fellow creatures
Upon the human planet.

My clock is stubborn; it refuses to discriminate as it should.
Its wakes with the stranger in a foreign land
And chimes to sleep the native close at hand.
Outraging the geographer, it treats all time zones the same.
Its unruly sun rises everywhere at once.
Its endless day rolls careless beneath the echoing chimes.

While it is my own, my clock lives on in all places and all times.
Wherever this basic human heart is born or reborn, my clock is there,
Draping itself in the seconds of other lives.
It is there in power’s race, it is there in compassion’s balm.
It is there where Caesar breaks the cooler pace of peace
And where more patient thought
Reclaims the moments lost.

My clock is there wherever harsh time assumes a human form,
Wherever hasty, huddled moments
Recall Life’s quieter promise.
My clock tells a special, different kind of time.
Its minutes and seconds flow like rivers, radiate like stars.

This clock is the gift of Life to all lives.
While the time it freely measures is yours as well as mine,
I offer up this poem as a token of our journey through it.

— meditation in verse by Fred Leeds ©2009

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