The Past and Future

the past

 

Year’s end always sends thoughts into the past.

Review and reflection. Celebrations and regrets. Conclusions.

But briefly. Then to a future near

and far but all unclear, unformed, undetermined.

Momentarily, no present. No now. No self.

 

Two-Hearted River

I flow today like this two-hearted river.

My energies come from two different places

in my past that should have passed,

but they have pooled around me today.

I’m trying to empty them. Dissipation. Loss.

river

The most famous Two Hearted River runs through Michigan and the branches drain into Lake Superior.  That’s not my two-hearted river.

 

School

Eighth Grade

Refuge from the confusion of home life.

A place where everything was scheduled, disciplined.

The comforting predictability of seven normal hours

of being expected to be only thirteen,

before I returned to early adulthood responsibilities.

 

 

Study Hall

After the dreaded Algebra and Chemistry when

we would talk music, read Rolling Stone,

eye the girls and share our fantasies

about them and the near far future

forgetting equations unbalanced, dreams never to happen.

At Fourteen

At fourteen, I thought less about the future
and, unaware of Buddhism, lived in the moment.
Even a day was usually unplanned, spontaneous,
open to what the universe had planned for me.

If life is like a sonnet, the turn occurred when
the future became my focus and the present
rushed by out of control, and the past
became nostalgia, a read book fondly remembered.

At fourteen, I believed, without proof, in eternity.
The days unfolded unbidden and I was content
in thinking at some point I would be able to see

That fourteen-year-old’s future is my present,
slipping away from what I wanted it to be,
and even partially my past, now already spent.