Thursday, March 10, 2011

Time's Deep, Man

It’s about cussin’ time
You sat yourself down

And thought long and hard

About time, Dude.

Just abide your keen mind

Make yourself a cold drink

And have a good think

About time, Dude.

You know it’s just fingers

That set cuckoo clock hands

And some guy’s digits

Programmed your watch, man

And, that there hourglass

It’s just melted-down sand

You should ponder some more

About time, Dude.

Can you tell if it’s linear

As we travel forward?

Could it lasso itself

And ever tick backward?

Why’s it everywhere at once

And yet no place to walk toward?

Let’s think double hard

About time, Dude.

The toughest of all

Is sensing time depth

Try hard to imagine

How deep is each step

You can barely see it

In the rocks that were kept

Easily we forget

All the time that’s been spent

Leading up to this parley

About time, Dude.

If you’re just an amoeba

Time’s nothing at all

Humans don’t change

The window's too small

But, if you’re big as an elephant

Time’s fifteen feet tall

Humans grow up

They get wrinkled and all

And if you’re huge like Uranus

Generations go down

Folks aren't just groups

They’re towns upon towns

Then if you blimp-up galactic

New critters abound

Humans appear

And then vanish unfound

And if you expand to the universe

Now time is your body

Humanity's a flash

Humans are nobodies

Now shrink back down in size

Back where you and I belong

We can’t glimpse it all

But our grasp can be strong

As long as we quit aimlessly

Riding along

Long enough to

Appreciate time, Dude.

(c) Holly Dunsworth


Ken Weiss said...

Holly, the Poet Laureate of Anthropology and Beyond!

Musings on the mysterious nature of time in the context of life were irrelevant when the world was viewed as having been created only 6000 years ago. But once the fact of evolution was discovered, that changed. Recognition of the slowness and relative nature of time was prominent in Darwin, of course.

But he wasn't the first. The reviled Lamarck expressed the ideas eloquently in his famous Zoological Philosophy, in 1809. He beat Darwin by 50, and Steven J Gould's metaphor by nearly 200 years! He used a clock metaphor, with the imperceptible movement of its hands:

"If the duration of human life only extended to one second, ...., any individual of our species who looked at the hour hand of this clock would detect in it no movement in the course of his life..."

(one can find the whole quote by Googling)

Holly Dunsworth said...

time direction is all about entropy. Trippy.

Ken Weiss said...

I'm not disappointed. All I've read about in the past....I don't want anything to do with it! And I have no reason to think people of the future (or on Mars) will be any more savory.