In Memoriam: The Horologist

Welcome to the Spot Writers. The prompt for this month is “new years.” This week’s post comes to us from Val Muller, who wrote the following poem—on the theme of time—in memory of her father-in-law, who passed unexpectedly earlier this month.


The Horologist

By Val Muller


He was a warden of time,

Counting seconds, days, minutes, hours

With meticulous care.

His favorite color, green, is the hue of life and growth—

Like the internal ticking, the motion of movements and springs,

The eternal return of summers and springs

Even after the darkest winter—the color of forever.


A custodian of time, he measured days, minutes, hours,

Shepherding every ticking second

The way he protected his wife, his son, his loved ones.

He wound movements and restored clock faces,

Made memories and left smiles etched on cheeks.

He fixed hour hands and held frightened ones,

Restoring resonating chimes in the silence.


A steward of timepieces, he counted minutes, hours, and years.

He fixed broken clasps

And applied bandages to wounded knees.

He replaced scratched crystals and drained batteries,

Nursed his wife to health and helped his son allay fears.

He kept the right pace, luminous paint glowing on watch faces

And his luminous smile glowing through the years.


A warden of time, he counted days, hours, years,

Mechanical wonders keeping pace through the silence,

Making sense of Time, too great for our understanding.

He knows eternity now, but the gears he built remain,

His ticking wonders, luminous hands pointing our way

And the incandescence of his memory shining in every sunset

And the chimes of his clocks sounding a bit like forever.


Update: For anyone interested, here is an editorial my husband wrote to honor his father and to thank members of the community who supported his father two decades ago.


The Spot Writers—our members:


RC Bonitz


Val Muller


Catherine A. MacKenzie


Kathy Price


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