Tag Archives: future

Conversations (VI) — to the future

With eyes closed I can hear you smile.
Your voice a place I know my way around.

Woodpeckers say goodnight the strangest way
And other birds of winter appear as singular

Leaves of gray, blue, gold on the trees
We can only see through their nakedness.

I drop your eyelids’ map of dreams:
Everything you are I still don’t know

Runs through my veins
Like the flight patterns of birds

that never have to know the route

I Remember the Future


I Remember the Future

I remember the future where all poets were famous
I remember the future where there were so few
things and people that they were all the best
where nobody cares for long who won or lost
I remember the future had always been where the family
would be sound of mind and body
I remember the force of the world working
backwards in time broke upon me like a windshield
I remember the moment looking forward became
looking back that all these futures drove
the present and their shadows solidified
to stone became the past
I remember this moment was when I understood
but tonight as the moon slowly fills
with the bones of days
(all the dead come from the future
from the days that did not live)
it is harder to remember the past
where I learned I did not have to forgive
myself or others to take my next breath
the only one available in the present

from Spring Songs (2)

from Spring Songs (2)


Each time I clear the fence of another day
I am trespassing onto the future’s yard

Like the deer behind the house
alarmed to find open space by the trees leaping

fence after fence and just as quickly gone


In an Open Field

In an Open Field


Late afternoon. The hills behind me
obscure the sun yet as I walk across the field

I can still see my shadow on the grass
a faint whisper of motion on the ground

always before me touching everything first
coloring every step I’m about to take

towards the new day so I turn around
it is still there larger and darker or is that the shadow

of what killed the old day standing up
to shrug off its sleep

To the Tune of a Song Not Yet Written

Note: another of a series of poems with the same title, to be scattered throughout a larger project called The Drift.

To the Tune of a Song Not Yet Written

Now we enter the season of our age
before summer’s end yellow leaves drift

haze floats between us and the foothills
still the sun is strong the rain when it comes

like the same words over and over
is not yet cold and when I look

between birds and hills I see the past
and am reminded of the future

The Future

Like a terminal bud, the future sits in dark resilience, weathering the present’s timeless winter, wrapped in the protection of tight embryonic leaves of the past, of memories packed in but not yet ripened which will unfold at the right moment, under accidental warmth or the persistent downpour of circumstance, they will unfold, crowning and surrounding that which has not yet happened in sudden green gestures growing as they are revisited and directing the warm rain of the mind to the center where the fruit is forming. All the colors of the spring are memories blooming and feeding the future. All this time we have misunderstood the past, blamed it for distracting us from the task at hand; it was never like that. Wasn’t the task at hand always shoveling snow? Wasn’t it always salting the walkway?  Still we could not escape the present as we cannot escape a blizzard, the white-out of no context, the compulsion to turn one’s head from a cold wind. And when the future is finally ready, when the memories darken slightly in their turn across the sun’s ninety faces then the present will come, not knowing why it is coming, as bee or bird or squirrel come but do not know why, and take the future on the only journey it cannot travel itself. And if we wonder why we lose the memories it is because their work is done, they can finally loosen and twist away in the tug of the present. Already we will have forgotten what it was specifically that was done, the hand on your back lightly, the walk through the teeming streets,  but it will have served the reason for that touch, its continuing love, it can be forgotten for the love is still waiting, just ahead, it has never left you, it has always come back, even as the ground beneath you stiffens with frost, it is what makes you see beauty in the momentary lapse of attention to the present which we mistake for the present moment, beautiful even in the coldest full moon of the year bright on the metal roof of an empty house.