Poetry Journal

Issues / Volume 5 Issue 2 , November 2015


Stopped watch

Charlotte Clutterbuck

Like a watchmaker, God was forced to intervene in the universe and tinker with the mechanism from time to time to ensure it continued in good working order.—Isaac Newton

The Blind Watchmaker—Richard Dawkins


Not blind—vanished like the profession. He or She or It or What just gone away about some business other than mine the watch decaying no spindle, no strap to bind it round a wrist tarnished by sweat and dirt silver plating abraded by cufflinks knocking against walls or bark. The big, black hand can be moved round the segmented worm biting its tail that marks the minutes on a circle of paper turning the small hand wilfully through hours marked by obsolete Roman letters—I and V and X stiff lines and rigid angles to chisel into stone— none of the roundness of Arabic the openness of Zero the ease of calculation. Without coil or battery, no persuasion no jiggling of the knob can budge the second-hand, made of different metal its Japanese movement stuck at 12 seconds past what unticking hour? Not blind, just silently gone about a to-do list other than ours attending to the biology of galaxies astronomy of cells.