Monday, November 02, 2009

The Clock of the Long Now

No wonder Einstein was mad for light.
This morning a maple, far back from the road,

glows as though each leaf were lit within,
so golden I think it must taste like pears.

Thirty years ago the world's oldest living thing,
a bristlecone pine, was cut down. The tree began

growing in the high Sierras before Egyptians
hauled stone into pyramids. In its place

we're building a clock that will tick twice a day
for ten thousand years. Even as our violent planet

wobbles on its axis, the clock will track each slow wind
of the Milky Way. Consider a girl, maybe with eyes

like yours, four hundred generations from now,
shading her brow to look at the sun. What can we create

for her that will last as long as that? Everything
is available to your mind. To make a believable tree

you'll need true-to-life textures, tiny hairs on the surface
of a leaf, and realistic branches, which sprout

new branches, which sprout even more.
Whatever is imagined, there will be something else.

Copyright © 2009 Marion Boyer All rights reserved

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