Tensesby Frank Wilson
Tenses, basically three,
Or so they tell us. Though when,
Exactly? The moment is
Gone, and we are only now,
Evanescent as breath. We do
Accumulate. But can we assent
Always and forever to be
Whatsoever we amount to?
Consider the awful mixture,
Peculiar and mundane,
And how little there is
After so long. Moments can be
Vast, encapsulating years:
Shade and timbre of light,
Faces on the marigolds, high
Summer sun, sidewalk heat.
Winter light embraces cold,
Bestowing unaccustomed clarity
On things and others and oneself.
Time will stop. Spring will not
Return, nor any other season.
You are scheduled to depart.
Such things, and others leading
To them, need addressing, though
You notice you are not afraid, only
Wary, though being so on guard
Unsettles, honesty compelling
You admit you cannot be sure
At all of anything. No metaphor
Embraces this. Nothing begets
Nothing. Still, you and the rest are here.
So now you find yourself retreating
Into memory, because you sense
The nearness of the final cadence,
Though that long-ago light one afternoon
In May (green and gold in consort)
Thrives in you. Most of now must
Always vanish. What little does not is
You: Moments that encompass you,
Together always and just now,
Pulsing, persisting projectiles evading
Position, like electrons, informing
Your sphere of being, conjuring
A landscape for your soul. You and they,
Those moments and their vessel,
Pronounce a sentence nearing
Completion. So you pay attention,
Wondering what comes next.
Only nothing ever does. Come next,
That is. After and before are the memory
And dream of now. Seed, stem, and blossom
Compose the same and single plant.
This very moment touches every other.
It is now we do not understand.