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