I went to meet an old flame some months ago and tried to reconnect.
It didn't quite happen. I was then embarked on a tour of the past,
to revisit old places, look again on familiar faces,
and mend some frayed parts of me. It was a fruitful effort,
and after wandering the maze for a time, I led me 'round
to the here-now, ever-hallowed ground. So amazed I then decided,
'tis here I'm wont to hang around.
She meanwhile - the object of my still ardent intentions -
having endured some loss and facing certain uncertainties,
seemed enveloped by a kind of halting cloud
that looked to me a steady rain, a netherworld of private pain.
Aggrieved she was, or so I thought, but wonder I did...
would she surely weave anew on her own creative loom
a raiment bright to dispel her gloom? She'd soon come back
and stronger yet, clothed anew I did bet.
Some months later we met again, and 'round her I could see no rain.
I'd grown weary of traveling back, and move now on a forward track.
So, I thought, I'll try again, and sat me down with my pen.
I'll write to her a note of cheer, hoping that might please her ear.
'Tis the song the here-now sings, us to the future it does bring.
Hello again, and again, and again...
And so was I, traversing tangled trails and wandering
in yesterday's garden when last we met, not by chance,
along that timeworn track. And so do all roads in time
lead to a place that always is yet's never really been;
to the Future have we flown, to glimpse what’s yet unseen,
to know what’s yet unknown.
Cairns of memories lie along that ancient route discarded,
like monuments to moments they mark the course of what was.
Trekking 'cross that barren plain lately do wayfarers roam,
gazing at extinction's severed threads as seers study entrails,
hoping to glimpse what yet must come to pass. And so do bygone ways
ever become fresh wendings, paths in time that paint afore us
new vistas, tableaus of a possible when dancing just beyond our ken,
silhouetting events that cast no shadow 'gainst the ever-ceding horizon,
as only the almost can.
And so come we to here, when all darkness hides behind forever,
emitting a know-light as wisdom that gleams upon every then,
illumines each cavern of was, and gilts the dusty plunder conserved
in history's repository of old. Bent low and shrinkeled by time’s
enduring embrace, all that went before is done and known,
tangled in trails now overgrown. Where once I plodded, burdened
by cares unforgotted, worn by fears I dared not shed now forward stride I,
shorn boldly of all doubt, remembering only what yet may be...
...in the now, where everything happens. Always and again does time
inch forward, forging the future from the raging crucible of this instant,
advancing ceaselessly upon the numberless armies of maybe,
breeding new soldiers from the corpses of our buts and ifs that lay
scattered across the battlefield of ever, populating an expanse of tomorrows
that never quite come yet always will be, hiding behind forever.
Here and now is time's own battle fought and won, pushing endlessly on,
creating only what truly can be - our present - the gift of eternity's war.
And to that pulsing rhythm do we march upon a future that isn’t yet,
but can’t not be. As blind scribes sensefully parsing time’s own writings
on an ever-blank wall do we hear in the scritchings of the almost,
and smell in the dust of tomorrows unknown an utterly beseeching song.
It calls one inward where all roads begin, and onward,
where all our whens are ever old and every then is always new,
again, and again, and again...
Now ever forward do we peer, through what I think to be a mirror.
It shows us where we need to go and points, like an arrow fleet,
to that future we should meet. It’s there, I know, our separate ways
wend endlessly as a maze, but always in time converge, diverge, and merge,
again, and again, and again.
When last we met fellow sojourner you seemed as I, uncertain of where next
to step. In doubt of you, you feared to tread where Angels keep a homey stead.
To the Future, that’s where we go, so to learn what we must know.
So in the mirror that was our then, go we fro and to again;
and in the mirror that is our when, go we two, again and again…
/agentofchange October 2015
(Copyright Joel Lis)