Over at Tweetspeak’s Mischief Café, they’ve served up as a prompt this month a line from the recent poem A Clock in the Square by Adrienne Rich:
Time may be silenced but will not be stilled
I know an old man… well, older than I am at least
Who keeps his mind sharp by grinding its grey edges
Against hard riddley sayings and unyielding paradoxes
Such as, “You know, if you go far enough east…”
“It’s important,” I’ve heard him say, “to be moderate in
moderation.” I guess maybe what he’s driving at is
that if you’re moderate all the time, you’re excessive.
But that’s merely my interpretation.
“The only thing I hate,” he’ll say, “is a hater.” – or –
“I’m very intolerant of intolerance.” He’ll be smiling,
And I’ll just hear his mind grinding, see sparks flying
While frankly I’m wondering what it’s all for.
“The only absolute is that there are no absolutes!”
I mean, I guess if it keeps him from going daft…
“The only constant is change!” But sometimes I gotta laugh
and sometimes I’m inclined to refute…
“Time may be silenced but will not be stilled,” he quotes
one day, to me. I contemplate a moment, then say, “Zero degrees
on the Kelvin scale; all motion and time come to a cease.”
I’m sure, just this once, I’ve gotten his goat.
But he comes back immediately with this old but good one:
“A mind convinced against its will holds the same opinion still.”
And while I do my best to swallow that horse pill,
doubles down with, “Science is the new religion.”