©Evan Nichols, 2014

©Evan Nichols, 2014

 

IN THE LONG RUN

By the time we arrived
in Rockford, Illinois

its legendary collection
the history of time

stashed beneath
a clock tower

with four colossal faces
and massive hands

was long gone
an ancient Chinese

water clock beside
a king’s ransom

of gold and jewels
auctioned then packed

back East– back
we say as if

winding a mechanism
passed down

from one century
to the next, gears

and weights that carve
time and parse

our lives from a past
that asks us to remember.

ANY PORT

That poem I read several
decades ago suddenly

seems quaint with its
labored complaint

that digital watches might
change how we perceive

time compared to dials
and hands that circle

endlessly (or almost):
now that even the most

esteemed terrestrial
telescopes are on the block

like the legendary Lick
just south of San Francisco

everything seems up
for grabs.  Consider

the possibility of black
holes being brought

to light–or planetary
look-alikes supporting

rumors of life as if
any port will do

in a storm we
cannot yet imagine.

 

©Christian Knoeller, 2014

Christian Knoeller is Associate Professor of English at Purdue.  His first collection of poems, Completing the Circle, was awarded the Millennium Prize from Buttonwood Press. He has received both the Midwestern Heritage Prize for Literary Criticism (2007) and the Gwendolyn Brooks Prize for Poetry (2011) from the Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature and is a past President of the organization (SSML).  Recent publications include essays on Louise Erdrich that appeared in ASLE’s Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and the Environment, on Scott Russell Sanders in SSML’s MidAmerica, and on John James Audubon and environmental history in the Journal of Ecocritism. Fall semester he will be offering an interdisciplinary graduate seminar “Reading the Midwest” from an ecocritical perspective while continuing work on his book manuscript, NARRATIVES OF ENVIRONMENTAL HISTORY.

2 Responses to “Time’s Horizon by Christian Knoeller”

  1. Barbara Bornet Says:

    I find your writing inspiring. Thank you, Christian

  2. martywill Says:

    Wow, Christian. Any Port just knocks my socks off! Especially the ending, the way you capture the topsy-turvy, headlong and the sometimes unsettling rapid change in both our world and our understanding of it!

    the possibility of black
    holes being brought

    to light–or planetary
    look-alikes supporting

    rumors of life as if
    any port will do

    in a storm we
    cannot yet imagine.

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