Poetry | Time Is Not a Stream

Poetry | Time Is Not a Stream
Photo by Ása Steinarsdóttir / Unsplash

Time Is Not a Stream

©2023 by Vernon Miles Kerr and VernonMilesKerr.com

Time is not a stream
But many streams,
Eternally branching rivulets of lava
On the volcano of History.

Time is not a dimension,
It cannot be used for measuring.
It is too flakey — changing with
Velocity or proxmity to massive objects.
Your time, at the foot of Everest
Is not my time at the seashore.
Your Time, travelling at near-lightspeed,
Is not my Time while observing from Earth.

Somewhere, high on that ashen slope
Below the first blast, the bang, that started all,
An orange, rumbling-rapids forked —
And  one flow became Life,
Never again to merge 
With its inanimate Brother.  
Other streams forked and forked 
And variations of Life occured,
They too, never again to merge.

Though Time is not a dimension,
It can be measured using
Other things as "dimensions:"
Like stacks of strata on a cliffside,
Or rings in a tree trunk,
Or a drilling core's layers of smashed snow-seasons.
Or, a stopwatch.

Time is stretchy,
Time is compactible,
Time is relative.
Time is not a stream,
Nor a dimension, 
But it does have only one direction:
A cascade of dominoes does not right itself,
At least in this reality.
But elusive as it is,
Time does define
This reality.