Sympathists

“Half Hours on Earth” (For Molly)

In Poems on April 26, 2009 at 1:35 pm

M. Standfast, Auckland

The quality of experience in half hours
is not uniform.
Some half hours are simply wasted
in others, something occurs
and leads into something else.
Other half hours pass quickly
they are maintenance,
but leave little residue.

“Half hours on earth
what are they worth?
I don’t know.”

With the occasional half hour
something actually happens,
in the Raymond Carver sense,
something that matters.
The air is charged and thin,
butterflies roil one’s viscera
and something is on the line.

“Half hours on earth
what are they worth?”

These electric half hours
even those isolated in time
are frightening, or better
giddily upsetting, and dangerous.
They sear themselves into the memory
more–they ripple the fabric of the cosmos.

“Half hours on earth.”

Editor’s Note: The title and refrain for this poem are borrowed from the song “Trains Across the Sea” by the Silver Jews. See the Lost and Found page for the full song lyric.

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