Time–and Time Again
by Vivienne Blake

Time is but an abacus
that flows like a river in spate,
the river of my childhood, green
and cold and smelling of drains.

The sound of rushing, roaring winter flood
or the trickle of placid summer drought,
the Thames, a thread through my childhood
and beyond.

A move away in adulthood–
the wrench from my foundations,
accelerating time and ageing.
Merde, I say, at time’s effect on
gravity, as everything sags
and loses color.

The swooshy rush of time’s river
slows almost to a standstill
in old age and yet, and yet,
days pass in seconds
as this old frame flows into
amorphous dirt and all but disappears.

Vivienne’s process notes:
From the age of 9 to 14 I lived beside the river Thames, with Windsor Castle in view across the water meadows. Most of the time I was in or on the river.


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