Time–she had a stitch or nine,
because she ran so hard and fast;
it sewed itself along her sweep
until she slowed her pace at last;

and all of us who tie our shoes
and dash our morning faces wake,
slippered into sudden sigh,
though carapace began to shake–

By that, I mean our peanut shells
so welded by centripety,
their brittle case won’t whittle down
even under battery

(though we don’t batter much our shells
for arms are thoraxed tight within
and Time’s bright gait so blurs our view
we miss the spinning at our end.)

But as Time slowed, if for scant breaths,
the dervish dance cast by her draft
unspooled and drooped, and feet adrift,
we swayed, then lurched, as on a raft

that washed up from a sea of notion–
each own’s idea of what this ocean
of floating storm is made up of,
this life we row, this row we motion–

Next landed on a slant shore’s sands
and while Time’s hands massaged her side,
we, creatures of a patterned beat,
assayed a waltz through lapping tide–

Soon enough, Time ran again,
with seams unstitched and hands a’scissored–
in her upswings how we whirred,
and at her strokes, how quivered, quivered.

A draft poem of sorts–meaning freshly written and little edited for my own prompt on Time on With Real Toads.   The drawing is an old one, not perfect for this poem,  but my laziness makes me a believer in recycling–


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20 Comments on “Stitch”

  1. Kerry O'Connor Says:

    This has the feel of a classic poem to me – the rhyme is perfect for the form, and your style of expression is so neat and trim here – not a word wasted. I admire that skill greatly.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      I was thinking very much of certain classic poems when I wrote it – specifically Auden’s–for me, honestly, a couplet is what comes more easily to hand, but those can make a poem get a bit silly, so I tried to tone that instinct down.

      I was going to do something quite different–not so directly about time– but this came to mind. Thanks, Kerry. k.

      On Sun, Aug 16, 2015 at 1:25 PM, ManicDDaily wrote:


  2. X Says:

    Really wicked flow throughout K.
    Nice play on the saying as well. For a time we get to travel the skein of life, and leave our knots and go off in our own ways, branching out. For a bit we dance and all too soon it is gone. If only we slowed down a bit, or wisdom came, before we were too old to appreciate it.

  3. Sanaa Rizvi Says:

    Loved the flow throughout the poem.. looks like a classic to me 😀
    Beautifully executed 🙂

    Lots of love,

  4. claudia Says:

    the fast pace of life mirrors in the pace of your verse – almost breathless – i really try to slow down a bit at the moment cause life has been on such fast speed that i felt i lost myself a bit in the daily run

  5. I love the metaphor and with running.. as a metaphor of time just slipping.. we just run, despite the stitches.. and the rhythm of your piece, the classic form lend itself perfectly becoming part of the metaphor itself.. so well done.

  6. gailatthefarm Says:

    What every one else said and more!

  7. othermary Says:

    Yes, the pace, the running metaphor, the wonderful rhythm and rhyme…and the whole is more than all it’s pieces together.

  8. Grace Says:

    A beautifully written poem K ~ I love the pacing & motion of time, whirring and quivering ~ Also a unique way of telling time, not one cliche word here ~

  9. Sumana Roy Says:

    i like how you’ve captured the ever fastest runner Time…

  10. “this life we row” I love that. I love the whole piece, but your ending is especially striking to me.

  11. hedgewitch Says:

    I’ve been reading Thomas Wyatt lately–just a tad older than Auden!–and I was immediately reminded of the early work the Elizabethans did with quatrains, and with translating and working with the Petrarchian sonnet form–though of course this is not as envelopish as a sonnet, and much more suited to its topic by being extended, yet also kept true to meter and rhyme. Many many very neat turns of phrase, neat as sampler stitches, and just as deliberate and sure. A very fine ‘timepiece’ of writing, K–and the message is all too clear–I especially like the peanut shells, the thoraxed arms, the sense of being as caught as a heavenly body in orbit to a greater force.

  12. I love the movement and sound play in this, K!! Thank you, for the challenge. 🙂

  13. C.C. Says:

    I love this….the whole thing from start to finish, but especially the idea of Time slowing for scant breaths….and your title is very clever… a stitch in time or a stitch in Time’s side….love it 🙂

  14. M Says:

    another fine swim ~

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