Where did the missing hour go
last night, precisely at 1:59 a.m.?
Clocks were made to jump
and two o’clock did not exist.
Suddenly we were at 3:00.

Some say it wet to antipodean climes
and for a time they’ll have two twos.
Doubtful anyone informed the moon
or notified the sun. (No one consulted me.)
and now a darker dawn begins this
twenty-three-hour weary sabbath
day of our less rest.

Those who hate dark evenings
will be happier now; those who
hate dark mornings, not.
There’ll be kerfuffles for latecomers
who forgot to change their clocks.

In America we call it Daylight Saving Time.
The British name it Summer time, like Europe’s
L’heure d’été, Zomertijd, Sommerzeit,
Horario de Verano….only in Italy does
Ora Solare change to their Ora Legale
keeping clear and honest what the difference is
between the works of God and busyness of Man.

The sun and moon still know what’s true.
Tonight will seem to come less quickly
thought it won’t.  And in the strict o’clock
there’ll be a resurrection of that wee hour
known as 2:00….not two of anything

but itself, imagined ordering of
light and dark, quite immaterial, irrelevant
to life as it is waked or wept
or kept in lonesome vigilance
or breathed, or slept.

36 responses »

  1. That is a lovely poem, about one of the strangest things mankind has constructed. Zomertijd in Dutch, we have that too but a bit later in Spring. It must be weird being born during a none existing hour lol 🙂 Or is that in Fall… I wonder if anyone really gets up at two to set the clock right! 🙂

    • In spring there’s no 2:00am on that day, in fall there are two 2:00a.m.’s! Confusing for any important event that may occur at those times. I think most people change the clocks before they go to bed, but our laptops, tablets and smart phones do it automatically at 2:00. They don”t seem to need as much sleep. Thanks, Ina

  2. Cynthia, you are just too clever! I absolutely love this. Only you could tackle this and do it so well.
    Our clocks dont go forward until the end of March; I will be thinking about the sad lost hour.

  3. Only you, Cynthia, would find a poem in such an obvious context. There certainly is poetry to write about it, now that you’ve jogged our mentalities . . .

  4. Another absolute winner, this is a delightful poem with just the right amount of humor mingled with its rationale. I hope that the spring that it heralds brings you warmth and joys.
    The International Date Line plays further havoc – so that when I went to New Zealand I lost a Thursday going and had two Fridays coming back – wish I’d thought of writing a poem about that. . I’m glad that the “lost” two-o-clock will reappear in the Fall. When it arrives it will be accompanied by an invitation for another endearing delightful Cynthia poem – yippee!.

    • Well, Jane, I can’t stop laughing about that lost Thursday being redeemed by two Fridays! It’s similar with the 2:00a.m.—we lose it for one day in spring, but we’ll have two of ’em on the night we “fall back” in Autumn. I probably won’t write a poem about that, just enjoy the extra hour of sleep. But I’m sure your fertile, cunning mind could make something of all this in one of your short stories……

  5. I/m on Spring Break this week so I had a chance to really enjoy your latest poem. It was a delight as the others have commented and I agree the Italians have a good approach. Personally, I would like to just go with nature and stop fooling around with the harmonious rhythm of life and nature. I’ve never heard the word”kerfuffles” but I’m enjoying how it fits so nicely into the poem.

    • I am absotively, posilutely sure you know what kerfuffles are without ever encountering that word–proof again that the map is not the territory. Thanks so much for stopping by the blog today, and on your spring vacation. Spring is never coming to Maine this year, I guess. We’ve just had another 24-hour snowstorm. Good day for me to go and warm up the new waffle iron, mix a double batch of batter, and sit in a zen-like trance making one Belgian waffle after another…enough to freeze for weeks! (I named the waffle iron “Auntie Eileen, by the way.) 🙂

  6. As you know (from a discussion you prompted on my own blog today) I’ve been rereading this. It is much more than a humorous poem about the change of the hour, I know. The first flashing indicator for me comes at “the works of God and busyness of man”. Then again with” the sun and moon still know what’s true”. The concluding stanza is beautiful; mysterious and ethereal.

  7. What I get out of this, Cynthia, beyond the cleverness–which is delightful, is contained, as John said, in the final stanza, though the meaning of the poem is telegraphed earlier. Basically the
    “imagined ordering of
    light and dark, quite immaterial, irrelevant
    to life as it is waked or wept
    or kept in lonesome vigilance
    or breathed, or slept.”
    is a form of human arrogance when
    “The sun and moon still know what’s true.”
    Two o’clock disappears, then comes back again, but it’s all clocks, not breathing, or sleeping, or weeping, or walking amidst the stars touching the fires of suns and singing silence as the universe awakes to itself.
    ” kerfuffles” is the right word. All this messing around with our minds and our expectations while what is real is so much larger than what we are. Let George W. Bush, the Chamber of Commerce, and those other politicians around the world stride larger than they are on the world stage. Kerfuffles to them. I did not get up at 6:00 a.m. on Sunday morning. I got up with the light.
    A great poem!

    • I had not thought of “kerfuffles” as a curse or anathema, Thomas, but I like it, I really like it. May you continue to arise with the light, and kerfuffles to anyone who might object!

      And your description of the world awakening to itself is a little poem itself!

  8. Christine (Journey Through Poetry) was right (as usual) well worth checking out your poems! Unfortunately, I think you will be seeing me again! I’m hooked! 🙂

  9. Oh yes, the dilemma of the changing of the hour, and so elegantly and accurately explained! 🙂 I don’t think there are many people who like this much for one reason or another. The debate about the dark or light mornings and evenings, is one that will go on forever I’m sure! But it is strange to lose an entire hour, by deciding to turn the time one hour ahead. It’s close to a time machine experience, but not, because it’s an illusion, and the sun, the moon, the earth, and everything else in the universe will carry on as usual, but something will be altered in our little corner of the universe – but not really! 😉 I’m sure time ‘real time’ is nothing like what we humans have turned it into. And there are some who believe there is no such thing as time, it’s just a man made invention. Oh, but that’s another debate entirely!! 😀

  10. Perfectly wonderful. We have a week or two to wait yet for British Summer Time, with its promise of longer evenings and the annual family camping trip, waking and sleeping with the roll of the earth the way we were intended to. I’m so pleased to have discovered your work.

    • Ah..you are one of those who relish this change of clocks? Summer is indeed the preferred season for many people….I’ve noticed, with great interest, your repartee with Thomas Davis and Ina about set forms of verse, and have been meaning to get over to your site to read your work….now I will return the kind gesture of your visit and comment here and do so for sure! Thank you.

  11. I love this, Cynthia! “the sun and moon still know what’s true” – absolutely perfect… and while I appreciate lighter evenings, the dark mornings do make it difficult to summon the will to crawl out into it… piffle.

    • Yes, I remember that hardship of going to work when it was still dark…but I guess you feel as if you have more day left on the other end, if you’re not too tired to enjoy it! Thanks for stopping by, and for your nice comment, Sarah…

  12. Very aptly put, this “imagined ordering of
    light and dark, quite immaterial, irrelevant”.
    It seems that it is one of those things where humans have created an “event” out of nothing and feel smug and intelligent about having been able to do so. We don’t have this concept but, where they do, I often wonder if, everything considered, it is of value to humankind.

    • The U.S. and Europe have had this concept of saving daylight since World War I ostensibly to save fuel, but it’s never been proven to do so. Of course, mother nature gives our hemisphere more light in summer, no matter what time it says on the clock. Still, we change the clocks to get more daylight (!), a concept no one understands, and the jury is out, on whether more people like than dislike the change. You would have a field day with this topic on your blog, Ankur. I’m sure your gift for exploring the absurd would make it very entertaining!

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