verse by other means



Marius Kociejowski


The Water Clock

for J.

I will construct for you
Out of the words I think
Will work best this clock

Whose running depends upon
A steady flow we shall call
The imagination at work.

You need not be alarmed.
You will not be consumed
In a whirlpool of speech.

This clock is scheduled
By the simplest means,
A hole sized just so,

No bigger no smaller
Than that which the ink
Of this pen runs through.

Only what truly matters
Will be given clearance,
And this you may compose

Into whatever shapes
Will bring you nearer
To what you wish reached.

Do not think this comes
Without you pledging faith.
You must be prepared.

A level must be reached
Before the fulcrum slips,
And the hour is chimed

In so clear a pitch
You will think such sounds
Are made in heaven.

There is no beguiling
This level, not even
With mimicry of form.

You may pretend noon
But a shadow spreads
From where you stand.

And besides, be warned,
The horsemen will know
And will stay unmoved.


- from Doctor Honoris Causa, Anvil Press Poetry, 1993