What Is the Time?

The times are an unminded stock
Of many a timepiece or clock—
With some that rust and lag behind
And some run faster than the flock.
Though they’re given a daily wind
To keep the seconds tick and tock
And din the hours with fits of chimes,
Together, they don’t tell the time.


Colin Lee


During breakfast this morning, I chewed over the mysterious chronos of our day and realised the wall clock was set a handful of minutes ahead, whereas our digital clock by the telly was a bit too slow; subsequently, the incongruent clocks became the convenient scapegoats for my missing of the bus.

Winter is beckoning from a distance, though no one knows the day or hour. Some say it’s already here, while some, like myself, are still wearing summer clothes. Then, apart from the climatic ones, the same goes for our economic winters, political winters, sociomoral winters, spiritual winters, and so on. After all … what is the time?

A little something to be shared with dVerse’s Open Link Night this week.

Photo Courtesy: roccofortehotels.com

35 thoughts on “What Is the Time?

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Frank. Such is life, I think. While we all sense the passing of time tick-tock by, and we can more or less agree upon a general era to which we belong in the timeline of humanity, yet there is a growing disagreement in our attempt to pinpoint the minute spot we are stepping on and whether we are ahead or behind, too quick or too slow.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Love how your illustration fits your words here….looking at those clocks and the hands at different times and hours and minutes — encased in different boxes, stands, wood, metal, etc…and what, save our meandering minds, is time? Why do we mind it so? Ah…you’ve caused me to connect with your words and leap out into conjecturing..the sign of a good writer for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m most humbled to hear my words are appreciated by such a brilliant mind like yours. Moments like this works magic on our time — ones we wish to relive over and over again. Thank you truly.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You know what they say – that a clock set to the wrong time is right at least twice a day. All of our clocks (all three of them) are set to the digital setting on the computer. So for what it’s worth…but it does seem as if our internal clocks are sometimes ferschimmeled. A most interesting poem.

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    1. Oh, how I miss that soothing ensemble of tick-tocks, ever since the heavy rent in Hong Kong has driven most of our neighbourhood’s clock shops out of business. Thank you for dropping by!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I have an old clock I have to wind every Tuesday at 12:30 PM. I love to sit and listen to it as it ticks away. It’s always off by a few minutes, but the comfort from the sound of it is the reward. Nicely done!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Linda. I know what you mean — now that we live in an era when younger folks don’t even wear watches. Hm … Maybe, if we could wind your grandfather clock at 12:25 instead … ?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s actually a beautiful old French clock with a female bronze statue on top, so it sits on a console table. I found it in a dusty Corner of a tiny antique store in Globe,AZ. It was not working but took it to a clock shop and he got her running!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Been a bit behind in reading – getting caught up while the clock ticks…
    The form & meter of this feels so much like the topic – there is a tick and tock about 8 syllables with such carefully crafted end rhymes. All of that manages to remain as a bystander letting the philosophical musing have center stage. I really like this one, Colin.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m terribly humbled by your support, Jilly, specially since now that I can hardly keep up with reading. Huge thanks from the bottom of my heart. As for the poem, I let slip a couple of variations in the iambic flow. Not all mechanical tick tock. 😛

      Liked by 1 person

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