Today I'm going to present one of my poems, called "The Past", with a minimum of comment. It's a personal favorite. It should be easily accessible to most readers.
"The Past" arose one day when I discovered a pasture in my mind where the statement of Meher Baba, whom I take as God (this is why)--"The past is a frozen lake"--did not seem "the final word" on the subject.
I put pen to paper and the discovery flowed onto the page, of how in my sixties I feel I've walked so many trails in this lifetime that there are in memory, it often seems, a nearly infinite supply of stories. And so many have so much beauty! (Of course, others are painful.)
Baba has a point, too, naturally! "The point of power is in the Present", as many a motivational speaker has remarked. In fact, even thinking of a lovely experience in the past, happens in the Present.
Here's the poem:
The past is an interest-bearing investment,
an estate enclosing more territory each day,
a delta always creating land.
Now, in my 60s,
I’m a great landowner,
a don unable to survey
all my holdings at once,
even from the highest hill.
To do so, I have to take
to the winding back roads.
Whole years I’d forgotten
come into view.
Everything is growing,
rooted in soil.
I didn’t know the past bloomed
with such passionate, poignant flowers
or yielded such succulent fruit.
Blossoms have faces and speak.
Resurrected old homes straddle valleys.
Memories graze on hillsides.
I return from such excursions knowing
there are still more such loops. How
did the tiny sharecropper’s yard
I knew as a young man
ever accrue to this? What Hand
has watered the once-arid precincts
and made them fertile?
I wonder, hearing people say,
“the past is dead”, when I find it so alive,
nearly as unknown, at times,
as what has not yet been dreamed,
and though I do not live in the past,
it is the foundation upon which I stand