Time honored memories – a poem

A couple of years ago Dan and I studied Eliot’s “The Four Quartets”. I emerged with a sense of wonder at his genius, even if normal persons, such as I, have a hard time comprehending his innuendo and references. He often focuses on time which inspired me to wait a while and then to put my thoughts on the same topic into a poem. I hope that it also gets you thinking.

Time present does not exist.
In the blink of a nano second,
It slips through the veil of now,
To be lost in the past.
In its passage it leaves
No tag, no taste, no touch,
No smell, no color, no light,
Nothing, except perchance, a memory.

The future we live,
And relive. Plan and seek,
It does not exist. It is
A figment of our expectation
To lurk forever undefined
It fills us with hopes, fears, excitement,
Anticipation, but no regrets for
Regrets are the stamp of the past

The past is select iotas of time.
To live, and relive. A few moments,
Kept in our temporal minds.
Not held for eternity,
Fleetingly resurfacing in our present,
Here lurk our regrets and sorrows
Mingled with joys and pleasures,
All lost, perhaps, when we die.

Some past chose us
Lee Harvey Oswald kills JFK
And the world acquires a memory
That individual moment when the shots rang
Yuri Gagarin, man in Space, whirls weightless,
Man’s “one small step” indelible on
World vision, Neil Armstrong takes his “giant leap”
Planet and moon one in time.

Other remnants of individual past
Horded, nourished, retrieved
Slip, invited, or not,
Into the mind’s present.
A marriage, a trip, a view,
A regrettable mistake,
Chocolate birthday cake
And Proust’s petit Madeleine.

Fifty years ago I selected
An obscure moment
To remember for eternity
Walking an ugly lane
I said “this moment is worthless
And yet, I choose to remember it”
Undistinguished, cherished
Thrust out of that present into the future,

And recall I still do:
The dirty ground, the ruts and stones,
The grey sky, the high hedges, the cold spring air,
My satchel, my isolation,
My knowledge that this moment,
Is a piece of the past,
My unimportant snippet of time,
Only, and always, mine.