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On Time

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I’ve seen in various places the information that people kept away from the sunlight world and clocks will operate on a 25-hour cycle, instead of the 24 hours of the earth’s rotation to which we think we are accustomed.

Clock989I notice that the moon circles the earth on approximately a 25-hour cycle.   Is this a coincidence? That seems likely.  The moon is on its own path, against the earth’s turning.

Could it be that the earth once rotated on a 25-hour cycle?  At some time, very long ago, but after the creation of basic life forms which later evolved into our DNA, some cosmic event bumped up the earth’s rate of rotation to the present 24 hours.

I like this theory because it would make the following statement true:

“There aren’t enough hours in the day.”

I find myself thinking that thought far too often.  Are we being cheated out of one of the twenty-five hours in the original circadian rhythm for which we were designed?

Has anyone researched this matter?

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Clocks and Time

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The Bridge Outside Paley's Door

The Bridge Outside Paley’s Door

 

 

 

 

In honor of the clock change, here is one of my poems about time and clocks from Made and Remade.

 

The Potentate of Time

As CEO, I cannot allow loss
of minutes dropped by badly
calibrated clocks, seconds

split by timers racing after
ever faster miles, or precious
nanoseconds sliced, spit out

by precision machines: all
the clumsy human attempts
to alter time.

I dispatch work crews to
sweep corners and gutters, sift
bits from curbs and drains,

bring their gathered goods into
my laboratory where skilled
artisans sort, stitch, splice.  My

expanding universe requires
recovery, repair, reuse
of every particle.

The title comes from a line in a hymn “Crown him the Lord of years, the potentate of time.”  It’s a phrase I’ve been fond of for a long time.  In spite of the source I picture this powerful figure as female.  I don’t know if this is because this cleaning up is a kind of woman’s work, or if it is a form of identification between poet and persona.  I intentionally hid my perspective by putting the poem in the first person.  How do you imagine this figure?

Drive carefully on Monday morning.  It’s a high accident time because so many people are thrown off and sleep deprived by the time change

Parley of Instruments: A Tale

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“I’m feeling off, and achy,” complains the watch as his band stretches around the boy’s hand.  “I’ve been reset so often my knob’s worn down.”

“My time is right,” the clock on the stove calls out.

“So is mine,” the clock on the radio mutters.

“B-bong, b-bong,” the windup clock on the wall begins to chime the hour.

“You’re two minutes early,” stove clock declares.

“Close enough.  I don’t run on current like you.”

“At least we agree,” stove clock assures radio clock.

“Of course!  We run on the same power!”

“You’re grumpy this morning, radio clock,” wall clock says.

“Stove clock’s acting like she’s in charge – again.”

The boy looks at his watch, which is running five minutes slow.  “I’ve still got five minutes,” he says to himself.

“You’re reading the wrong timepiece!” the others cry together, but to the boy they are as silent as the lights flashing at the school crossing, where five minutes is enough to mark him tardy.

“He didn’t look at any of us,” stove clock sighs as the door closes.

 

This little story was a side trip in my journey with William Paley’s Natural Theology.  The image of the watch which opens Paley’s argument is so strong that it took me a while to realize that Paley is not really interested in what watches do, that is, tell time.  He is interested in the watch as a mechanism which must have had a designer.  It is a parallel to the eye, ear, and all the other parts of the body which, it is his project to demonstrate, must have been designed.  Paley’s world view is a topic for another time,. as is our contemporary bondage to clocks and the minutes they represent.

Coping with the Clock Change

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            Two coyotes are heading toward their dens.

            “Why are we quitting early?” the younger one asks.  “It’s still plenty dark.”

            “Where are your ears, boy?”  asks the elder one.  “Didn’t you notice that the two-leggeds are up and around already?”

            “Why is that?”

            “Don’t know, but it happens every year when the days are getting longer.  Must be something weird in their metabolism, ‘cause there’s no sense to it.”

            A third coyote has joined their homeward trot.  “My dad told me,” he says, “that his dad said he was prowling round a barn once and heard horses saying they were getting fed early so they could get on to plowing and planting.”

            The elder coyote scoffs.  “What do horses know?”

            “What’s plowing?” asks the younger.