TIME ON EARTH

In matters of life and world, dark and light,

time here is wet: raindrops strike ponds,

leaves record the tick of sap and cheeks

each fallen tear

Clocks are cherished only in the skulls of men

seeking regularity in closed rooms

Outside, nature unfurls without a stopwatch

making measurement meaningless

The click-clack of water running in underbrush,

cycles of day and night, bodily rhythms, go on

without notice or being written down

Time here is messy, cold, hot with steam, with fog;

mists blur morning and twilight

The sky turns gold and red at random, drenches farms,

withholds moisture, leaving mortals to flail and shrink

and lapse on whim

Knowing this I join a gecko at twilight resting

from its battles for food, from conquests for mates,

curling and uncurling its long elegant tail on a chunk

of coral in the shade of palm fronds above the cemetery

of my rock garden

A sprinkler explodes behind us in the croton bushes

and we flinch, relax, exhale

The little lizard lifts its sharp nose to catch

the water’s fresh scent in trade wind breezes

I hear the tock of the end of day

It is the loneliness of my woman calling

from inside our house

The time is now