“Clepsydra” is really a meditation on how time feels as it is passing.
John Ashbery’s poem, Clepsydra, begins with the phrase “Hasn’t the sky?” The question, opening out to anywhere, lured me into the poem.
Clepsydra is the Greek word for water clock. John Steinbeck used it also, to describe the action of the tides: "Time is more complex near the sea than in any other place, for in addition to the circling of the sun and the turning of the seasons, the waves beat out the passage of time on the rocks and the tides rise and fall as a great clepsydra."
Hasn’t the sky? Returned from moving the other
Authority recently dropped, wrested as much of
That severe sunshine as you need now on the way
You go. . . .