Count Down



take my six hours, we’ll call it a day

I’d like to leap a different way

a quarter to keep for myself

a fraction of time that is mine

all just mine

borrowed time there on the shelf

I’d rise at first stroke

spend my two bits till I’m broke

a revolution, in minutes, all mine

no time to do aught but eat and clear up

is this how I’d spend that brief time

breakfast at twelve, elevenses at one

lunchtime I’d have about two

afternoon tea at the a.m. of three

and dinner at four, that would do

I’d supper at five, that would be a surprise

and at six I’d depart for the night

one hour to rest then up on my feet

to begin a new day, sleepless fright

but oh, what a waste, to be eating in haste

and spend all night washing up

I could do better if I saved time till later

some minutes to give it more thought


how about this for alternative bliss

save all my quarters for years

a decade or three, a whole week for free

to choose when I want with no fears

folk would be working, couldn’t accuse me of shirking

’cause I had my time in the bag

could swanny around with my feet off the ground

flying without the jet lag

I’d meet other folk who had theirs and we’d joke

about using up time of our own

frugally friends meeting now and again

who could buy several days without loan

right about now I’d have two weeks to spare

time saved for the chance to be anywhere

Leap Fortnight I’d call it and smile

I’ll be gone for a while, checking leap watch’s dial

standing time on its head way out there


‘Do you know what you’re going to do with it yet?’

I smile and check my leap watch again.

‘Two weeks! Wow! I spent mine on one.’

‘What did you do with yours?’

‘Lazed around, mainly. Got to the point I didn’t know which day it was let alone what time.’

‘Kinda the way I want mine to be. But I don’t want to waste it either.’

‘Have you made any plans at all?’

‘One or two…’

And I said nothing else. How to explain the different me that I would be with two weeks I’d saved for fifty-two years.

‘I’ve booked a flight…’

‘Ooh, where? Can you say?’

‘Somewhere where time stands still…well, slows down….’

‘But that can only be….’

‘Shh! No one else knows yet.’

‘I’ll miss you.’

‘No, you won’t. I’ll still be back in two of your weeks, with seconds to spare.’

Chasing Significant Amounts

There goes a second – whoosh!

and a minute

and an hour

and a day

and a week

and a month

there goes time

in all its incrementals

haven’t counted

but I have a hunch

that time spent in counting

would be a dreadful waste

what with how counting

just goes on

and on

and on

very much like time

in the infinite of space

it keeps tocking

while I’m singing my own song

it delves along

through the worm holes

and the black

it delivers and recovers

whether I am here

or there or not

time in all its measurements

regardless of how long

keeps on marching

even while I seem to stay on spot

noticed how the time goes

when I’m busy

and I work

I stop to look

and wonder

where it went

up to my eyeballs

barely stopped to see

but I know wherein

my time has all been spent


goes another

of Chronos’ little blocks

as I write

before returning

to my tasks

no time to explain

what is taking all my time

you’d be sorry

if you took the time to ask

I have a scythe

and I’m cutting

up a storm


my chores

into haystacks

crop’s almost harvested

blade is nearly blunt

the bearded bloke that lent it

wants it back

once it’s been milled

and we’re both returned

to sharp

I’ll be counting


stilled on pause

grey-beard guy will laugh

at my efforts to control

while I acknowledge

every past imperfect clause

stopped for a breath

and a fag

and a break

and some caffeine

to fill

my time cup full

ticky, ticky, tocky,

it’s passing while I talky

got to rush now

against the time-held rule

back in a while

note the use of while


notation none

to govern

or account

see you in a spell

sooner, later, all is well

just chasing time

in significant amounts.