The Clock Has Tocked

Exemplary – Word of the Day


Rachel Carson (1907 – 64) (Photo: Carson was a marine scientist whose most known public work was “Silent Spring” (1962), a clarion call for humanity to address their impact on nature. In particular, Silent Spring is an investigation into pesticides. Carson wrote: “They should not be called “insecticides” but “biocides.” Rachel Carson, Silent Spring, p. 189.

“We stand now where two roads diverge. But unlike the roads in Robert Frost’s familiar poem , they are not equally fair. The road we have long been travelling is deceptively easy, a smooth superhighway on which we progress with great speed, but at its end lies disaster. The other fork of the road – the one less travelled by – offers our last, our only chance to reach a destination that assures the preservation of the earth.” Rachel Carson, Silent Spring p. 277.

Carson was an exemplar of both environmental awareness and activism as a scientist and writer.


The Clock Has Tocked

The old grandfather clock in the hallway is ticking,
but there’s no one to note the passing of the hour,
they’re everywhere else in this big old house,
in rooms of self,
halls of bustle,
where the carpets are dusty and threadbare,
the varnish no longer present to the wood,
and the paint so sallow.
Things should have been fixed long ago,
but our will wasn’t urgent to the task.
Grandad’s monocle popped when the quotes came in,
and we gave up,
preferring the pleasured, anaesthetised life.
Had we ventured to the hallway,
and listened closely,
we’d have known that the clock had tocked its last.
The eleventh hour cried to us,
but we mocked its melodrama,
and bargained that Chronos would let us slide,
and all the while our house is falling,
falling down upon us.

ยฉPaul Vincent Cannon



Filed under chemicals, environment, history, life, Link, mindfulness, nature, poetry, quote, Science

28 responses to “The Clock Has Tocked

  1. Such a thoughtful poem about the destruction we are causing in nature and where it will lead.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This is beautiful, & the poetry is ๐Ÿ‘Œ

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Clever piece! ๐Ÿ™‚
    My monocle popped today when i saw our internet bill!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My husband has been looking for a copy of Rachel Carson’s book for a long time. He is a pretty clever hunter, but not a copy is to be found. I wonder why.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. wow powerful and confronting … apathy, denial, avoidance we are all guilty as charged ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s a pity she died so young, and an even greater pity we have done so little compared to what we should have done since Silent Spring.

    The poem is very pessimistic, but I’m afraid it’s most likely accurate. At least for so many species now.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. lync56

    wow great poem – confronting


    Liked by 2 people

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