Lives of the Watchmakers

Surely there are teeth so small.   
I have listened for their turning,   
this frail swell and fall   

like old blood yearning   
upwards through the skin of days.   
Slowly, I am learning   

their count, though numbers fray   
in me, and the loaded instants   
graft, coming always   

to the same tangle: the distant   
cry merging with the song   
at hand, the rain’s insistent   

opening in daylong   
dryness, the plain moon   
draining into dawn.   

And below it all, hewn   
from the pliant light of some   
Geneva noon,   

they spin time’s thrum.   
Stopped, I have bent my ears   
to them. I have become   

sound inside their years.   
Surely I have known the whole   
of grief and grace in gears.   

More Poems by Michael Rutherglen
  • By Michael Rutherglen