Time’s passed

Getting to grips with time is always a problem, but in geology it’s well nigh impossible for a Bear of little brain.

The sands of time, when they are spent,
Drop from its flowing stream,
Compact, metamorphose, fragment,
To leave a jumbled dream.

Though I can use my mind’s own eye
To re-cast recent years,
Vast geologic timescales lie
Outside its mental spheres.

Geologists talk with practised ease
Of Periods and Eras,
But that’s because such terms as these
Shrink time to help their hearers.

A thousand million years? Such things
(Although I’ve really tried),
Like history’s great wars and kings,
Just hurt my brain inside.

[Image from Curiosities of the Church, by William Andrews (1848-1908): fromoldbooks.org]
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