It takes me back to this poem that I wrote years ago, as I thought about the issue of time, how it stretches, how it contracts, how we can use various practices to change our perceptions about time.
Careful readers may say, "Hey! This poem reminds me of one you posted in early January."
Indeed, it is like "Horarium," which you can read here. But it's also different.
Liturgy of the Hours
In the darkness, they pray.
The single mother stares at the clock and calculatescosts. The newspaper carriers start
their rounds. Truckers cross
state lines, and a woman writes poetry by candlelight.
The farmer feeds the animals as sunrisestains the horizon. Early morning exercisers lace
their shoes and retrace their steps. Parents prepare
breakfast, and the monks pray again.
Students rush from class to class.The housekeeper starts another load of wash.
Frazzled workers everywhere break
for coffee while the monks celebrate the Eucharist.
At noon the world eats lunch.The monks pray, and then they eat, and then they pray again.
No one leaves work early these days.As the dark grows close, everyone sits alone
in their cars watching the pavement
and concrete barriers. The monks pray.
The world watches bad television chosen from a hostof options—hundreds of stations beamed
from satellites, and not one satisfies.
Children chat on phones and stare
at screens. Adults wonder
how they got so far behind. The pets settle
into their sleeping spaces.
The monks gather again in darkness piercedwith candle light. Watched by statues
of Mary and the Crucified Christ, they chant Compline.
The Abbot sprinkles each man with holy water
and sends them to sleep in their cells.