On The Great River Of Time

Now is not where I choose to be.River and Mountains
Now is where I am—
carried by the great river of time.

I am never behind,
resting upstream in the wide shallows—
or rushing through past narrows near threatening rocks.
Hints of earlier passages flutter in my conscience,
but the events are as distant as the moon’s far side.

I am only here.

I am never ahead,
where sunny skies await—
or lightning bolts and torrential rain.
From time to time I imagine
what joys or terrors lie around the next bend,
but the realities downstream are the river’s secrets.

My home is the ever flowing present.

I see that my portion of time
is rich with miracles—
the grinning face of a child,
the lined visage of an old man,
a student intense at her computer,
a policeman grim-faced at an accident,
and countless more,
distant and close at hand.

I see myself
and I see my freedom—
to think and to act;
to ruin or to build—
and from my small spot, perhaps, 
to touch the lives that dwell downstream.

So I pay attention
to the splendors in my part of the flow.

Sometimes adrift, other times racing,
one time in glee, another time in sorrow,
I do not yearn for past moments
and I do not strain to see ahead.
I attend to the wonders of now—
the birthing of the new, the dying of the old,
the churning flow of life.

And, I know the shining bubble that is my life
rides the mighty channel briefly
— then is gone—
so I hold sacred my given span
of the great river of time.

This is a Poem About Life by Rod Van Abbema, spirited-thinking.com

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On The Great River Of Time — 7 Comments

  1. Phil, thanks for the thoughts. Actually, this poem, like many of my poems, is blank verse. Much like prose, but more compact. I think of poems being many things. Some rhyme, some don`t. Some have meter, some don`t. For me the core of poetry is economy of words and stimulation of imagination. Once in a while I even succeed.

    • Yes, I know what blank verse is. But to me blank verse seems like one of my concept drawings before I actually create my finished artwork.

  2. Content aside, I tend to enjoy poems that are visually appealing. By this I mean some discernible form or design….repeating elements or even written in certain shapes (e.g. The Mouse’s Tale in Alice in Wonderland) that really set a work apart from rearranged prose. I see a single line a couple of times early in the poem but then that pattern is not repeated. There are stanzas of 3, 5, 6, and 7 lines of various lengths with no evident reason. Appealing content but the overall form feels to me like the work is still in draft form.

  3. Thanks Patti. I come from a background that stressed working with the future in mind–a great idea–but easily overdone. Learning to pay attention right now is a good antidote for me.

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