once sent cathedral spires skyward

granite septs, marble naves

               and these green towers, so slender, spiny

               from a cactus by the same name

               pillars telescoping from three or four shoots

               spiraling through air

               some kind of vertical sundial

               marking years as if telling time

African violets press leaves against

west windows bloom through sheer neglect

plants rooted repotted divided

many many times

               the spider that lives in the philodendron

               spins out to the window sill in the morning

               sun and yesterday I dusted one more time

               the brown wings of all the ceiling fans

fat leaves of the succulent jade

put out tendrils air roots above the soil

reache down to where rocks once

metamorphosed to become precious jade

               all passages

               we’ve come to measure

               label chronicle


               wind up

               set alarms

               finally digitize

               time-driven animals


by Graeco Roman sundials

Grandpa’s pocket watch on its chain

Big Ben

the race the early the late

               Somewhere a rolling cadence

              of cathedral bells:  hours told/tolled across the world

              hours we’ve created stolen from sun and moon

saying It’s Time

              so I’ll repot this cactus

               into the new/old sauerkraut crock

               turn violets so leaves spin out

               in perfect whorls

               gently lift the spider from the sill

               and place it back on heart shaped leaf

choose to celebrate not brass and liquid crystal

but place faith in only sun and moon

solstice and tide

               no longer animal but plant