Standardized Time

Whoever standardized time

did a piss-poor job.

I could tell them for a fact

that Wednesday move more slowly

when there is less to do,

and Mondays always arrive

much quicker than they leave,

yet Fridays take their sweet time

no matter the cheering from the stands

because let’s face it

they’ve worked out who’s top dog

before the firing pistol went off

and they don’t need to rush

to prove their walking home with gold.

Whoever standardized time,

did a piss poor job of the whole damn thing.

Because a second becomes a moment

when the right person holds it,

and a minute becomes an hour,

when your waiting for the answer

or the result,

or the next sentence in a conversation

you really don’t want to see through.

Worst of all is the touch,

that barely lasts at all,

that goes before you noticed it

and leaves you wondering for months

if you should have seen it coming.

Standardized Time – Audio Recording

44 Comments

  1. This is fabulous! What a great way to look at time……and ain’t it the truth? Sometimes those Fridays at work lasted f-o-r-e-v-e-r and Sunday night arrived soooo quickly! And some people become angels way way way too soon.

    1. Thanks Lillian. That last bit didn’t actually occur to me, I think that’s because those last two lines have quite a different meaning for me. I’m really glad you like it though.

  2. Oh I so much agree… time has it’s way of not being standard… it all depends what you fill it with… and on the night before the end of the holiday this seems especially apt

    Love the strong language

    1. It’s a poem I’m trying to work out how to write. I’ll get it down eventually and it’s going into a collection I’m working on but it’s not quite ready to come out yet I don’t think.

  3. That’s a very good way of putting it. You are so right! Like meals that take three hours to prepare and ten minutes to eat, the holiday that takes a year to get there and is over five days after it arrives…

    1. Oh Jane, you’ve taken this in yet another way, it’s so interesting all the tangents people have gone off in. You’re completely right though. I hadn’t ever considered it from that stance.

    1. Thank you. I almost forgot to add it but I’m trying to be better about recording more of my poems. A few people seem to enjoy them so it seems like a nice thing to do and keeps me in practice at reading them aloud.

  4. Your poem really got to me, Carol, and it is so true! I especially like the lines:
    ‘Because a second becomes a moment
    when the right person holds it,
    and a minute becomes an hour,
    when you’re waiting for the answer
    or the result,
    or the next sentence…’
    and
    ‘Worst of all is the touch,
    that barely lasts at all,
    that goes before you noticed it
    and leaves you wondering for months
    if you should have seen it coming’.

    1. Haha, that’s pretty much the entire second half, but I’m glad you liked it. There was meant to be a break halfway but I’m still getting to grips with the new editor.

  5. In a bizarre way, I look forward to my transition day, when I emerge beyond the veil to a place where time no longer exists, where past/present/future are an unbroken plane.

  6. I like the way this builds from a light hearted approach to a more serious side of time…moments we don’t always notice until they are gone or perhaps moments we misread because of our own perspective.

  7. love everything about this poem Carol, about how time can be too quick or too slow depending on what we are hoping to happen

  8. When you’re retired
    Time passes as you like it
    Nap time Supper time
    There are some more, Bed time
    Night time Day time Breakfast time

    I like it Coleen. Today is Grandpa takes kids to Macdonald’s time.
    ..

  9. Ah, time is such a nuisance. I really enjoyed this soliloquy/observation on the myriad faces of time.
    I loved the evocative ending in particular:
    “Worst of all is the touch,/that barely lasts at all,/that goes before you noticed it/and leaves you wondering for months/if you should have seen it coming.”

  10. Wise indeed … the longing and waiting prior to an anticipated event and then the reflection of the memory and how it went by so FAST!

  11. “Worst of all is the touch,

    that barely lasts at all,”

    Ain’t that the truth?! Beautiful poem, a touch lingers when it is gone because we miss it

    1. In my mind this is a slightly different touch actually. It’s the touch that barely lasts at all, that we don’t want, and then it haunts us. In the end it’s come across slightly differently but I think that’s because I needed to write a different poem for that particular moment and instead I was trying to shoehorn it into this one.

  12. Oh, that is different from how I read it. I do think this is such a beautiful, and now a more haunting poem. It is traumatic to have an intrusion like you mention, and I can see how what I had read as longing can also be read as haunting. Time is tricky, even more trick is point of view and the different colors of the world. I think the way that I read the touch was influenced by these beautiful lines:

    “Because a second becomes a moment

    when the right person holds it,”

    which then switch like the abrupt cutting in a haiku to the trepidation and waiting of what seems like a clinical report in the next lines. Bottom line is that this is a fantastic poem, and I enjoyed hearing you read it as well. Always good to see you on the poetry trail. Thank you!

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