Grandfather Clock

by Richard Vince

All is quiet, bar the ticking
Of a grandfather clock that
Has seemingly grown roots and
Become one with the polished floor.

Outside, the leaves of the trees
Bathe in the balmy, early autumn
Sunlight. Inside, the light tries
To retain optimism after its
Arduous journey through the ancient
Stained glass of ornate windows.

He fears to make a sound, lest
It shatter the glass like
Almost silence, so he sits alone
And screams silently to be
Part of the life outside.

The ancient portraits, barely faded
By the insipid light of the years,
Do not hear him. Their empty eyes
Continue to stare into the same
Middle distance they always have,
At the same moribund air. He
Cannot make eye contact.

As his eyes become like theirs,
He wonders if they felt as he does
When they were imprisoned here,
With no sound apart from that
Same grandfather clock,
Stealing second after second of
Potential joy and leaving
Only bitterness.


Posted on 11/22/2009
Copyright © 2024 Richard Vince

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by V. Blake on 11/22/09 at 10:54 PM

My aunt used to have a grandfather clock like this--she didn't take it with her when she moved out. I wonder if it's for reasons like you've described so beautifully here. Adding this one to my favorites. Thanks for the great write!

Posted by Amy Niggel on 11/24/09 at 01:25 AM

I love the opening and the ending. Makes me think of some of the big houses near my homestead. Great read.

Posted by Coleman Demiurge on 11/24/09 at 05:12 AM

That's an impressive piece. Locked inside our own little worlds long enough--for whatever reason--that we eventually become just another mundane piece of it, while the world outside just moves right along. As beautiful as it is depressing; I like this poem very much, especially the screaming silence in the third stanza. Perhaps I'm just a sucker for agoraphobia, I'd be an agoraphobic myself if I could afford it, but hey we can't have everything we want... Life would just be too boring that way (not that I have anything against boring). Exceptional writing, as usual - a great work indeed!

Posted by Anita Mac on 11/26/09 at 04:37 AM

I can feel the spirit of Eleanor Rigby in that room. This is a great piece... in a way that makes me a little uncomfortable and hopeful that my occasions to relate are few and far between, but well done all the same! ;o)

Posted by Carol Grant on 08/04/10 at 05:14 AM

one of the best poems I have read tonight...I have read many..looking forward to strolling your library..

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