31 December 2007

ever at my back I hear. . .

Here's a poem for the New Year, from current Poet Laureate Charles Simic. The Library of Congress site notes, with delightful academic understatement, that "Charles Simic was born in Yugoslavia on May 9, 1938. His childhood was complicated by the events of World War II." Yes, I'll just bet it was. This poem is from his collection The Book of Gods and Devils:

The Pieces of the Clock Lie Scattered

So, hurry up!
The evening's coming.
The grown-ups are on the way.
There'll be hell to pay.

You forgot about time
While you sought its secret
In the slippery wheels,
Some of which had teeth.

You meant to enthrall
The girl across the hall.
She drew so near,
Her breast brushed your ear.

She ought to have gone home,
But you kept telling her
You'll have it together again
And ticking in no time.

Instead, you're under the table
Together, searching the floor.
Your hands are trembling,
And there's a key in the door.

So here's to fresh starts and new beginnings, no matter how arbitrary or even deluded, and to making the most of your time, whatever that might be. Happy New Year to one and all.


vicmarcam said...

Yup. There's always a key in the door. You won't believe this, but I was hoping that you would post a poem for the New Year. Creepy. Happy New Year.

Patrick J. Vaz said...

. . . and my hands are trembling. . .

I still think January 1 is a stupid time to start the new year. Lunar new year starts at a much better time, and I like the philosophical thought behind Rosh Hashana in harvest-time.