Wristwatch

Ron Padgett - 1942-

I’ve just written six
or seven short poems
in about half an hour,
in a cabin
on a pond
with raindrops.
Maybe I should
just sit here
for a while, let
some time pass
so my wife will think
I’ve been working hard.

See that?
Some time just went past
but so quietly
you might have missed it.
Then it morphed
into the sky.
Look, another one!
It came out
of my wristwatch
and slipped away.
 

More by Ron Padgett

Fairy Tale

The little elf is dressed in a floppy cap
and he has a big rosy nose and flaring white eyebrows
with short legs and a jaunty step, though sometimes
he glides across an invisible pond with a bonfire glow on his cheeks:
it is northern Europe in the nineteenth century and people 
are strolling around Copenhagen in the late afternoon,
mostly townspeople on their way somewhere, 
perhaps to an early collation of smoked fish, rye bread, and cheese,
washed down with a dark beer: ha ha, I have eaten this excellent meal
and now I will smoke a little bit and sit back and stare down 
at the golden gleam of my watch fob against the coarse dark wool of my vest,
and I will smile with a hideous contentment, because I am an evil man, 
and tonight I will do something evil in this city!

Poet as Immortal Bird

A second ago my heart thump went
and I thought, "This would be a bad time
to have a heart attack and die, in the
middle of a poem," then took comfort
in the idea that no one I have ever heard 
of has ever died in the middle of writing 
a poem, just as birds never die in mid-flight.
I think.

Words from the Front

We don’t look as young
as we used to
except in the dim light
especially in 
the soft warmth of candlelight
when we say 	
in all sincerity
You’re so cute
and
You’re my cutie.
Imagine
two old people 
behaving like this.
It’s enough 
to make you happy.

Related Poems

For the Graduation [Bolinas School, June 11, 1971]

for Sarah

Pretension has it
you can’t
get back
what’s gone by.

Yet I don’t believe it.
The sky
in this place
stays here

and the sun
comes, or goes
and comes again,
on the same day.

We live in a circle,
older or younger,
we go round
and around on this earth.

I was trying to remember
what it
was like
at your age.