|photo by Patricia Seaton|
Place de l'Horloge, Avignon
Beneath the fourteenth century Gothic clock
where animated figures strike the hour
the double-decked old carousel turns round.
Its horses' riders grin and laugh and wave.
Some ride above the others, some below,
some sit on steeds and some on frogs and some
on swans or pigs or ornamented thrones.
And all around are lovely painted scenes
of heroes, quiet ponds and mountain heights
that -- were they not so fine -- could all be real.
The riders speed along and go nowhere.
(Their motion by itself is motive too.)
Each face betrays a soul absorbed in what
is happening just then. This must be wise.
But when the music stops -- it always is
too soon -- the children know the jig is up.
They then descend a few more minutes old.
They've passed the time and I’ve done nothing more.
William Seaton, from his forthcoming collection, Planetary Motions, Giant Steps Press