Thursday, January 10, 2019


It’s Tuesday Poetics, and Lillian has asked us to consider some cherished treasure that “speaks to us” and enjoys a place of honor in our home.  This is the story of the carnival clock, my treasure.  I was too late to get it submitted to Tuesday Poetics, so here it is on Open Link Night. (As for the sonnet, forgive me, I'm afraid it's far beyond my ken!  It seems a bit like asking an artist to do a painting, but taking his palette away!)
Submitted to dVerse
January 8, 2019

It’s a rather gaudy china mantel clock, but it is a  treasured possession to me.  It conjures memories of a long ago time when a traveling carnival came to the small town near where we lived.  I was perhaps 7 or so.  I  remember my excitement as we walked  among the pitch-penny and ball-toss tents, with the large prizes on display.  A china mantel clock caught my father’s eye.  It could be his, the hawker said, if he tossed 3 of 5 balls in the pocket, 3 balls for a quarter, I seem to recall.  Each time my father fell short he eyed the clock and reached in his pocket for another quarter.  And when his quarters were gone, he got out the bills.  He was on a mission.  My mother, who could make two nickels scream for mercy, kept pleading for him to stop, but he soldiered on, and finally the clock was his.  I don’t remember how much the clock cost, but they had little, and it seemed much.  Dad beaming and Mom grumbling, we took the clock home.  Dad built a niche for it above the kitchen cabinets, where it marked time for all my years of growing up, often a topic of conversation with visitors.  The clock moved to town with them when they retired from farming, where it marked the time of their last years.  Today, the clock sits on a shelf in my den, marking the time of my own last years.

It’s said “Memory is like a child walking at a seashore.  You never can tell what small pebble it will pick up and store away among its treasured things”.  Just so is the memory of that long-ago evening, and the winning of the china clock.



  1. What a lovely treasure of a clock with family history Bev. Good for you to have this clock as a remembrance of those times.

  2. Funny, the things that we treasure, are often things, other people dismissed as flotsam, and thrown out with the weekly trash. Like I don't understand, why my mom wants to keep certain items from my childhood that bring back nothing but pain for me. Personally, I like the clock that your dad won at the fair.

  3. What a fascinating clock, and what a wonderful and toucjing backstory. The clock is priceless Bev!

  4. I LOVE YOUR STORY. Your dad sounds like quite a man.

  5. I don’t think I’ve seen a clock like that outside a museum, Bev. It’s beautiful and I like the colours and the behind it is wonderful!

  6. I wonder so often at the small epiphanies that overtake us- those times when we hear a call or just KNOW something. I've learned over time to pay attention and honor those moments. Sometimes I don't know why - maybe its just practice for next time, but sometimes looking back, the thing I was called to do or say led on to hugely significant events. I love this story and the clock. There is also an imperative to beauty. How wonderful your father's persistence led to countless moments of ease and pleasure each time his eyes rested on the clock. Thanks for sharing this story.