And the Time Sundials Tell

by John Ciardi

And the time sundials tell
May be minutes and hours.
But it may just as well
Be seconds and sparkles,
or seasons and flowers.
No, I don't think of time
as just minutes and hours.
Time can be heartbeats,
or bird songs,
or miles,
Or waves on a beach,
or ants in their files
(They do move like seconds —
just watch their feet go:
Tick-tick-tick, like a clock).
You'll learn as you grow
That whatever there is in a garden,
the sun counts up on its dial.
By the time it is done
Our sundial — or someone's —
will certainly add
All the good things there are.
Yes, and all of the bad.
And if anyone's here for the finish,
the sun will have told him — by sundial —
how well we have done.
How well we have done,
or how badly. Alas,
That is a long thought.
Let me hope we all pass.



Note: Today is the birthday of the poet John Ciardi who was born on this day in 1916. 

As featured on
The Daily Gardener podcast:

Words inspired by the garden are the sweetest, most beautiful words of all.
John Ciard
John Ciard

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