Robert Bly





Wanting to Steal Time

People are moving big milk cans around in 
The storeroom, and I am there. Each day I move  
Barrels full of nothing to a different spot.

I want to charge you for the rustmarks on my pants.  
When greed comes by, I hitch a ride on the truck.  
You'll see nothing but my backside for miles.

Every noon as the clock hands arrive at twelve,  
I want to tie the two arms together, 
And walk out of the bank carrying time in bags.

Don't bother to associate poets with saints 
Or extraordinary beings. People like us have already  
Hired someone to weep for our parents.

We have a taste for ignorance, and a fondness  
For the mediocre dressed up as fame. We love  
To go with Gogol looking for dead souls.

Counting up the twelve syllables in a line  
Could make us allies of the stern Egyptians  
Whose armies were swallowed by the Red Sea.