like a little clock
that trembles on the edge of the hour,
only ever calling out “Cuckoo, cuckoo”
Joanna Newsom, “In California” (Have One On Me, 2010)
A dark brown wooden cuckoo clock shaped like a cottage hangs on a forest-green wall. Instead of a clock face, it has a large golden coin. The outer edge of the coin is decorated with a circle of triangles similar to a sun, and the middle has a four-petaled flower with a cross at its center. The cottage has lacy white trim with hearts included in its patterns. Two ears of corn are painted on the upper part of the cottage. A cutout of a calling bird emerges from a window at the top of the cottage. On the ground in front of the cottage are a bear and a deer, with two pine trees and four four-petaled flowers. Three ropes hang below the clock. There is an oval pendulum with a picture of a spider on the middle rope.
The suit begins with the chime of a cuckoo clock. Shaped like a little cottage, this card represents one’s house or home. More abstractly, it signifies being rooted, to a specific place or a specific time. The lyric for this card is from “In California,” which belongs also to the Queen of Coins, and the spider pendulum dangling at the bottom is a reference to Lola Montez, who is the King of Coins.