I've tried holding my breath on the escalator
And holding my nerve as I jump.
I've tried keeping my buttons in boxes
And ignoring uncomfortable lumps.
I've tried listening for mice with my head on the floor
And hearing the days as they pass,
And licking the batteries that should spark the tapes-
Containing The Times - now elapsed.
But nothing worked to make it tick,
Nothing fired the coals.
All of this just left it lying
With limp connectors in fabric folds.
I've tried closing doors when sunsets bleed
And cooking flotsam soups.
I've given my salt to soapy-cuts
And pasteurised the boots.
The iron filings didn't work,
And neither did the sand.
The butter only made a mess,
And the acid burnt my hands.
Still to nought my toils all led,
Still nothing in there stirred.
The cogs and spindles lay splintered still
And no whirring fizz occurred.
The machine remained only parts-
Collecting settling dust.
The inevitable decay began-
Kept company by the rust.
Once I tried not trying,
But failed for paradoxes sake.
So I tried forgetting, failing
When reminded by the ache.
So it lay again unmoved again,
Except for shadow's slide,
And I tried constant trying
Just to pass the time.
Just to pass the ages
Until the mechanism twitched,
And yet I am still trying,
As I'm yet to find the switch.