Monkey Watch


Monkey Watch
(after Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, Bertrand Russell and the Myth of Icarus)

Monkey senses things that are invisible
to other minds. He knows that ink in a pen
can run dry, that word flows can suddenly cease,
that mechanical pencils can so easily
break down into their component parts.

New Year’s resolutions can lie broken on the gym
-nasium’s floor. Scattered on the ground, they lie
shattered, tattered like the beribboned tresses of trees,
blown blind by winter’s feverish, age old wind.

Time has grown feathers and traced
its moth flight round the candle flame.
These solar spots that beautify the moonscape wings
of the meandering moth are too hot to handle.

Suddenly, there is the scent of burning flesh,
of flimsy wings crisping, of high-flying Icarus
left roasting in the candle’s open fire. Monkey contemplates
the dry, tight wrinkles on the back of his paw.

Then he moves his hand slowly and casually through
the candle’s flame as he meditates
on the brevity of life and the multiple meanings
of an existence that precedes all essence.

14 thoughts on “Monkey Watch

    • Hi, Judy: so good to see you here again! I like to think it illustrates stanza three, as you have guessed. It’s more raw emotion than anything, a gut feeling that rawness and colors go together in an ineffable, perhaps invisible, blend.The original title of the cartoon was “When anger becomes hunger, it devours” and that too is part of the poem. There again: who knows? I’ll e-mail you separately.


  1. Very good, Roger. I could probably comment further, but at the moment I have to go out for light bulbs and batteries for flashlights. Keep your fingers crossed that I don’t get stuck on the elevator, okay? Someone sure was last night when the electricity blew out in the building. Been there. done that, and it sure isn’t a good place to be stuck — unless you have drinks and snacks with you. Lesson learned the first time so I was prepared the second time, lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Angie. Good luck in the elevator. Last time I was stuck in an elevator, it was with Jean Chrétien, the former Canadian Prime Minister. That was a fun trip. Ten minutes of instant fame! As for flashlights, I checked here and we are down to two working torches. Oh dear … I may meet you in the flashlight store …!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I only had to buy the batteries, Roger. I have lantern, flashlights and battery operated glow lamps all over the apartment. Made it on the elevator without getting stuck, also. I’ve been stuck on this one a few times, so I always have my Cherry Coke and a snack in my backpack when I ride the elevator. Can’t say I’ve ever met anyone famous in a stuck elevator, though. Most times I’ve been alone for the duration — up to 4 hours one time. I also keep flashlights in my purse for occasions like that. I think I just might have to close now and write about being stuck in an elevator. Tune in later, lol.

        Liked by 1 person

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