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Friday 6 July 2012

Twixt Clock and Bed

(Edvard Munch's painting "Self Portrait: Between the Clock and the Bed" was his last. It can be seen here - Scroll down to the bottom of the page.)

Aren't we all
(in a manner - our manner -
of speaking) somewhere between
the grandfather clock and our bed,
time out...  final rest
(though we stand to attention
facing the world)
ticking our way
weighing the ticks
in the palm of the mind's right hand
'till between-clock-and-bed
slips out of the world
and the world is unchanged when it's gone?

Alone at the end
(though friends gather round)
all we have known
are the clock and the bed
and how to stand firm
in the face of the world
frail soldiers on guard,
last duty done
for the ticking has stopped.
It's time to turn in.

Looks like I might not get round to all my friends for a while. I have lost my broadband - looks like it might be long term. I shall return!


Jenny Woolf said...

Another good poem and it sort of captures the feeling of Munch too. I hope that your broadband returns soon.

Brian Miller said...

a rather sombre moment...hopefully our watch was fruitful and the tick now stilled echoes forward...

Mary said...

If only the clock would tick a little slower...and yes, sometimes it is hard to stand firm in the face of the world; but then I would imagine that at some point one would be ready to turn in....for some well deserved rest.

Hope you find a way to get broadband back, Dave. Or get thee to Starbucks or McDonalds or somewhere! (Ours have Wi Fi here. Don't know about there.)

Gerry Snape said...

I love this post Dave..I grew up waking up in bed to the sound of a grandfather clock ticking my life away outside the bedroom door. It now stands in my hallway...still ticking away my life little by beautiful little....thankyou!

Ygraine said...

...and some of us haven't even learned to 'stand firm in the face of the world' by the time our clock stops ticking!
This is a fabulous poem Dave, a slap around the face that shocks us out of our lethargy and reminds us to make the most of this short time we have.

A timely warning!!

Ygraine said...

Really hope your broadband returns soon.
You wonderfully inspiring words will be greatly missed!

Tabor said...

I had never seen this art piece. It would not have meant so much to me when I was younger, I must admit. I really get it now.

Anonymous said...

A wonderful poem - they had a hugs Munch show in New York a few years ago - he's got my Scandinavian temperament =i.e. morbid! But there's reality there too, unfortunately. You've got it.

Agh--about the broadband. Is there a cafe you can go too? Somewhere in town? Terrible. k.

Eileen T O'Neill ..... said...


Life is indeed governed by time and the ticking clock. From the recorded time of birth until the time of the final breath....

Dave you will be missed without the broadband connection. I hope it is only a brief interruption.


kaykuala said...

The grandfather clock, regal in its bearing,imposed its greatness with its presence! Hopefully you'll be back soon,Dave!


The Weaver of Grass said...

Not sure exactly what you mean by this poem Dave but one thing I do know, if I read the poem rightly, is that when it comes to the final call we are all on our own.

Rachna Chhabria said...

Another great poem, Dave. Like the title a lot :)

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

The adjective for this poem is tremendous. There are solemnity and determination and a ticking that remains in the air, ineluctable.

Cloudia said...

and what a quick interlude it is!

Have a fine Weekend

Aloha from Waikiki
Comfort Spiral
> < } } ( ° >

haricot said...

I miss your words and lines...
I hope the ticking in your mind would stard sooner.

Despite of difficulties of language for me I enjoyed such abstract work as the last one, though sorry for my poor understanding.

Have a nice break, Dave.

Dave King said...

I will say a very heart-felt thank you to all who have visited and especially to those leaving comments, just in case I fail to reach everyone. I am still having connectivity problems - my last attempt failed after 10 seconds.

Mrsupole said...

I too sometimes think about when it is time to go if it is better to be alone or to have others around us. I guess it is just something we have to decide when it is time. But I am also wondering if you mean that once you lose your broadband, then one does feel alone and out of touch with everyone. I used to panic every time I was having computer issues but after I got my iPhone and was able to at least read other blogs then it was not so bad. iPhone's are great for texting a short message but writing long comments or blogs, well it sucks.

I too hope you get your broadband back. I have heard that some libraries might have WiFi or let people use their computers.

And I guess there are a lot of other choices as long as one has a laptop. Sending you lots of lucky wishes that it comes back soon.

God bless.

A Cuban In London said...

Whilst I await your return, I shall continue enjoying your poetry. I saw that final painting, too and it spooked me somehow. I don't know why, but it did. Your poem did the opposite, though. "How to stand firm in the face of the world". It's so hard sometimes. :-)

Greetings from London.

website designers adelaide said...

I love reading your works cause I can feel the emotions your trying to impart. Totally a great read. Keep it up.

Dave King said...

Thanks everyone. I thought I was back finally, but the success appears to be intermittent - so fingers crossed.

Last evening I watched a video recording my wife had made for me of Tim Marlow on the current Munch exhibition. Interestingly he spoke about this painting and noted that the clock face is blank and that Munch's eyes are closed.

The latter doesn't show up too well in the reproduction, but interesting...