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