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a tale for young children at bedtime
They are arguing.
About the time
Not any time.
but the Exact Time.
I am disgusted.
Must they bicker?
I find my interest is piqued.
"Mine's set to the ATOMIC CLOCK!"
One practically shrieks.
You can hear the capitals.
Its a frightening concept
In my brain unattended.
Atmoic clock, with its nanoseconds Exact Time
No face, no minute hands.
A clock that always runs, ticking.
We used to have local times.
communal times, seasonal times
Then we came
Kicking, screaming, kicking.
To that unifying ticking.
All so trains could run on together.
So planes could fly on together.
we all have the same information
So that alarm clocks ring in harmony
all across a nation.
So when you look at a clock--and your neighbor, as well--
You know--and THEY know--
we all know the time.
Some say its a gift--
others a hell--
And, like some demented nursery rhyme
you know and they know and we all know the time.
Without, we would fall apart
As Ouroboros devours its tail
chaos would eat out our heart
we weep and we wail--with or without
You see, for now, we need this place.
Despite the war, despite the peace
despite the endless race.
Despite loss and waves of tears
and wars we carry out for years.
Now--RIGHT now-- We need our little minute hands.
We need to measure, poke a pry,
For we have walled ourselves inside--
We need our time or else we'd die.
"Without cities, what would we eat?" someone inquires
They do not notice the leaves I'm consuming
Leaves are decidedly not to be desired.
While the other species must be free
we polish our shackles lovingly.
so that clock sends out its strings--
we hold desperately to these things--
Ties back to world we need desperately
Perfectly built and almost perfectly sheltered
In a world we have mostly censured
on a planet where we are aliens:
our time is nothing without measure.
We do this not for profit or for pleasure
but something deep inside the mind
that knows only its twisted kind.
And of all things to fear, I fear most this:
Something deep has gone amiss.
And despite all this, o children wild,
I am but a wayward child.
do not ask me about that thing on the wall
I do not care for it at all