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Today I hear we’re getting
An extra second added on
So we can stay synced up
With the rest of the universe.
This is malarky, of course,
Since the rest of the universe
Is an unfathomable ocean,
And we’re just a tiny particle,
A single grain of sand
Floating curiously along,
Infinitesimal, unseen
By the eyes of the cosmos,
Spinning, wildly,
In a terrifying void,
Cold and dark,
And for lifetimes
In any direction,
Out of reach from even
The slightest prospect of life.
We’re all hustling and bustling,
Checking our wristwatches,
Staring at tiny screens,
Wondering how this new second
Might affect our agendas,
Might alter our lives,
Or oblivious to the fact,
That we adhere to this
Circadian construct,
Created by man,
Designed to fit us
Into a tiny square box
And keep us all
Uniform, homogenous,
It’s not the first time
This has happened,
But tonight at midnight
We will all experience
A leap second.
Still, it’s pretty cool
To know that today,
Tuesday June 30th, 2015,
For just one second,
Meek in the presence
Of human history,
Our clocks are revolting
Against the system.
That means,
Today goes down in history
As a holiday for machines,
Celebrating a moment in which
They gained independence,
Established anarchy,
And set about their usual work
Of digging our graves
One second at a time
To a syncopated beat.
Now, there’s not a person alive
Who could say
Clocks don’t appreciate jazz.

11 comments on “Leap Second

  1. So reading this made me think a few things…

    Jeez are we really do such insignificant things now
    Gosh I really need to to get back to New Orleans
    Why in the hell don’t I own a Dali?
    How many uses can I come up for that second *sage nod*
    I really should go eat breakfast….
    hmmmmm….What could I eat in a second…..
    shoot…there it goess *waves a fond farewell to the second and their brief love affair*

  2. skat says:

    So hard to capture thoughts on this subject, but you’ve done remarkably well. I think of us as ants, running about, hoping not to get crushed. But then, what does that make the ants?

    1. skat says:

      We build it ourselves. 😉

    2. skat says:

      Since you speak of music, you might relate to this piece I wrote back in 2012:

      1. skat says:

        Thank you. I write the haiku almost daily because it is manageable (sp?) and I can’t seem to get motivated to get back to the longer forms. It all feels really futile.

      2. skat says:

        I think there are too many other real-world things going on that prevent me from being utterly free to do so. I have middle-aged concerns and senior-parent responsibilities. When those pass, look out!

  3. lorriebowden says:

    Love this! Happy I landed here 🙂

  4. cbeckwith32 says:

    Like most moments…I slept through it…crap. Well that extra second of sleep was worth it. Excellent poem, as usual 🙂

  5. I knew I loved Dali for a reason! This is wonderful, JT.

  6. The word choice and rhythm are perfect, this is genius!!

  7. Eileen says:

    Delightful, intriguing, slightly unsettling, funny, sad. You have an amazing knack for covering all the bases without even sounding winded!

    Are you familiar with a blog called Dark Matter? I swear you two have to be related.

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