The Present Tense

At times the present feels Like a slow burning fever,

A cascade of hurried days,

A cauldron of memories,  hopes and tensions

that rise to  futures of vague dimensions.


Oh how easy it is...

To be buried in the mines,

To be lost in the shadows of what was,

To cultivate hate for those who hurt us,

For those words and deeds to repeat

in our minds without relent.

For a damning identity to take root

and taint your own sense of  beauty,

Like an insufferable scar upon skin,

Earned from the curse of remembering.


And if not tethered to the past,

Are we not tempted  by some future?

Labouring with a mix of hope and anguish,

For a  vital vision we cannot extinguish,

Of days removed from monotony and loneliness,

A time in which we are exuberant and bear witness,

To a harvest of joy reaped at the end of sorrow.

Only the time to sow its audacious seeds

is always tomorrow.


Oh brothers and sisters I do not mean to sound

despondent in the midst of  this divide.

But are  these not the tendencies of the mind?

I'd rather be cast as being bleak

than be oblique.

I'd rather scream and shout,

sweat the fever out.

Than be silent

as life plays out.


For is there not a crisis of self belief?

A feeling of worthlessness that pervades

Through our language and demeanour?

Fuelled by a mind built for analysis,

Tuned to  problems and comparisons,

but Ill suited to being.

Is assigning a summation of self to the mind,

Not akin to an orchestra  with a solitary instrument,

A mockery of each symphony

that yearns to be played?


To shatter the myth of our insignificance

Can we  contemplate the confluence,

Of the millions of events that result in us coming to be?

Cellular to celestial, each of us a distinct miracle

Each, regardless of circumstance, a result of a yearning to live.

And do we not stand on the shoulders of giants?

Of the same flesh and bone,

Who have navigated the same threads of hope and despair,

Without them, would we be here today?

Without us, what will come to pass?


For here in  the present tense,

As you  fill your  lungs with breath,

In the  intensity of these moments,

Are you not free to give voice to what you stand for?

Does your heart not swell with yearning?

When not veiled from your own power and beauty

Are you not armed with vitality and  choice?

Do you not wield the brush and the canvas

To paint a life of your choosing

Stroke by glorious stroke.