Weighing Time

We’re soothed by steady ticks and tocks
of our old clock,
gently knocking,
rarely stopping

to balance up the weight of time;
unclogged by grime,
fine polished gears
count up the years.

We put trust in its staring face,
its plodding pace,
its simple chime
as it calls time.

Kim M. Russell, 2017

Weighing Time

Image found on Pinterest

My response to dVerse Poets Pub Meeting the Bar: The Minute Poem

Frank is our host and he says he found today’s form in a post by method two madness: https://methodtwomadness.wordpress.com/2017/06/29/grateful/ who provides a good example.

A minute poem has exactly 60 syllables which he assumes match the 60 seconds in a minute. In that sense it is like the quadrille which has exactly 44 words. However, there are more constraints than the number of syllables.

The form also requires three stanzas of 20 syllables each. Each stanza has four lines. The first line has 8 syllables and the next three lines have 4 syllables each.

If that is not enough constraints, the poem is expected to have end rhymes for the three stanzas that go aabb ccdd eeff.

And if that is not enough, the meter is expected to be iambic: a foot of two syllables, first one unaccented, second one accented.

Frank reassures that, as too many constraints may make a form too difficult and not enough may make the form uninteresting, for this challenge, if we want to relax the rhyme, that is fine. If we want to relax the stanza structure or meter that is fine. And he won’t be counting the syllables!

We can write our minute poem on any topic.

43 thoughts on “Weighing Time

  1. “Ode to a Clock” indeed–your piece is stunning in its adherence to the form, its brevity, & clarion message. Glad to see someone else use Sound Cloud; love your accent.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Glenn! I have a different laptop now and had no means to upload audio files. Paul Scribbles suggested Soundcloud and I was surprised it’s so easy to use.


  2. I can hear the soothing ticking of the clock Kim ~ This is my favorite part:

    to balance up the weight of time;
    unclogged by grime,
    fine polished gears
    count up the years.

    Enjoyed the reading too!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love the sounds and meter, Kim. This really caught my emotion because I own a clock very similar to the one in your picture that was a gift from my great grandmother to my grandparents when they got married. Several generations learned to tell time on it and it sections my world every quarter hour with its chime. Certainly soothing, as your words declare!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This made me think of our grandfather clock. It requires the weights to be lifted periodically to keep time. But, oh, when we miss the cue to wind it and it stops, you’d think there wasn’t another clock in the house to look to for the time. Nice job on the form with this one.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Love that you used the minute form to write about an instrument that ticks off the minutes! 🙂 Well done! 🙂 My father, many many years ago, refinished an old school clock that hung on the wall. Looked like an antique grandfather clock except only the face was encased and it did hang on the wall…it also had the pendulum box beneath the face. There is something comforting about old clocks and pendulums. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Lillian! I love old school clocks – they don’t seem to have them any more. We never had a grandfather clock but my grandparents had one just like the clock in the picture.

      Liked by 1 person

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