Updated: Jun 30
Great grandpa’s clock has ceased to tock,
that mantel piece of crude cut wood,
a case too large for inner works
where even dust just lost its way.
That alloy block on ramrod stick
founds its weight too much to sway.
Great grandad sat there by the peat,
sipped Bushmills from up the way,
admired his cutting from the moss.
She would have him up the stairs
but once the whisky had its way,
along with glowing from the grate
he was balanced on his seat,
content, the ticking of her talk
wafting, smoky, up the stack;
no matter words, straitjacket, Mum,
admonition of her tongue.
He piled bog slack from crumpled pail,
settled back, ignored the pain,
tasting time, port barrel stock.
Next morning shock,
his clock had stopped.
For wont of cleaning clogged up spring
the fossil smoke spread from the peat;
tar coating him from briar shag
as he had dreamt of springy turf,
the blades that tickled toddler toes -
adventures as that timepiece berthed -
and he had run down to the stream
before his call to linen mill,
clog roughshod feet, reluctant trudge.
But now all settled, slow to stop.
First published by The Whisky Blot