If she could have her way, she said,
She would have liked to own a summer clock;
A gleaming, simple timepiece
To gather time – not pass it –
Placed snugly in a corner of the room.
It would take hold of summer time, she said,
Catching the moments of light each day
To keep away the long, dark winter hours.
And there would be a corner of her house
That would remain afire.
She said this in a wistful tone, soft as a dawn,
Then turned her hopeful gaze to me.
But in seeing, she looked far beyond me, now,
To the lowering darkness of the October day.
© Anne McMaster 2016
10 thoughts on “Poem no. 20: The Summer Clock”
I love the soft tones throughout, and then the hammer drop of foreboding at the end–vision and mood.
Thank you so much! The idea came from something my friend said in last autumn. She has a wonderfully large, bright kitchen and as she spoke, I began to imagine this mystical, powerful clock drawing in the sunshine and long hours for when she needed it most!
I love your work, Anne, and would like to comment on many more, but this one captures something I’ve felt particularly sharply this beautiful summer at my home in Washington state.
Sheila – what a wonderfully kind comment! I’m truly delighted that you like what I’ve written. You know what it’s like – we spend so much solitary time writing that it’s a weird sensation to hear from someone who has read what you’ve toiled over!
If you’re in Washington State, you’ll have much of the same weather that I have in Northern Ireland. I love the long days – and clear light – of Spring and Summer and the dark days of winter have me hankering for light again! I was talking to my friend about clocks on day and this concept hit me. I think I’d love to have a clock like this myself!
Wonderful mesmerizing. Captures something so perfectly.
Caitlin – thank you! As you’ll see from my other replies to this poem, my writing of this work comes from my love of long days and my lust for light when the winter months come around again and everything becomes dark and shaded. I envisaged a clock that not only told the time but saved the brightest daylight hours. October is when the time changes and the winter months begin to bite and I knew that it is when we begin to mourn what we’ve just left behind.
Lovely! I particularly enjoy the set up and poems that have a final line that grabs you around the heart. Well done.
Davita – thank you! It’s like looking at both sides of the coin – isn’t it? We have the beautifully long, bright days of summer but we appreciate them even more because we know that the shaded days of winter are coming in. That was what I wanted to catch: to have sunlight is a precious thing – but shadow always lurks!
You express your ideas beautifully. Love the winter/summer antithesis. 🙂
Thank you, Martina! You can’t live out in the country without being reminded that, as one season blossoms, another one is waiting to come into bloom. I miss light in the winter – I shrug my way through the dark days – and I was caught by the conceit of having a summer clock which trapped the hours and the light of such a beautiful time of year. Yet waiting in the wings (isn’t it always?!) is bleak autumn.