Clockwork

1.

It’s like a procession of fingers

plucking harp strings

or the beating of your own heart

steady, beautiful

wondering when it’s all going

to end.

 

2.

Are you brave enough

to tackle the big questions

or would you rather count the stars

or your heartbeats?

 

3.

And then you think of Galileo

with his calipers and calculations

carefully taking measurements

fingers on his pencil

inscribing arrows and circles.

 

4.

And Stephen Hawking

locked inside his brain

wings on his wheelchair

and that voice, oh that synthetic voice

fingers, harp strings, all motionless

only the twitching of a cheek muscle

words flashing across a computer screen

big bang words, black hole words.

 

5.

In the background music, Beethoven

locked into deafness

notes tumbling from the window of his mind

on to the staff

a procession of black footed tadpoles

rhythmic, fateful

as the stars, as the big questions

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© Johnmichael Simon

2015

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