We find it, glabrous as a pearl,
in the convenient mines of the past.
We work it out with shovel,
with energetic pick, even with forks
and fingers. Time curls, an embryo,
which we transport to the present,
wrapped in silk, or boxed in velvet.
We have squandered too much time,
and need these transported years,
brought in light backpacks forward.
If we take too much time
the walls of now will collapse,
so we must be selective.
No aeons, only decades,
the occasional century,
as if we were playing cricket,
and were useful at the crease.
Whether there is time enough
to keep things going on,
is something we shall know
only if we mine more time.
There is no convenient canary
to warn of tomorrow’s loss.
We string the pearls, cross
our work-worn fingers,
and wonder if our days will dim.
PS Cottier likes staffies, Scotch and speculative poetry, one of which can sometimes be sampled at pscottier.com.