Tense

I was rummaging around in a few boxes today and came across a notebook from eight years ago. I was surprised to find a poem in it that I can’t remember writing. Here it is:

TENSE
Live in the past
Isn't that what old men do?
And old women leaning 
backwards as youth moves on?

The past is certain.
It has happened either
within or beyond our
dreams, control, constraints.

We can visit the past
like an old sloppy jumper
and wrap ourselves in
its fading colours and familiarity.

The past links our present
with tugging arms, pulling 
in all directions ~ fleeting
smiles, sodden tears, banalities

that ebb and flow soaking
our memories, watering our 
imaginations, flooding it with
lessons, regrets, voices.

And where is the future?
Can we live in a land
of hope or is this a 
tapestry yet to be woven?

Tenses are just that-
tense - passive, active,
imperfect, pluperfect.
I was, I am, I will be,

or maybe, I didn't when  
I should have; I might 
have but I stood in 
the moment for too long.

I'm  in the moment now
gazing at the moon and stars.
This is my present and where
I want to be; but am I

suspended here as the 
world drives on ~ not 
in a white Volkswagon Beetle

but in a tiny stream 
drifting down from the 
mountains to meet the
ever waiting sea.

Jean Tubridy


Author: socialbridge

I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing. My main research interests relate to health care and sense of place.

10 thoughts on “Tense”

  1. Very meaningful, our past is the foundation that we build our future on. I t had better be a secure one with no fissures to stare us down in the years to come…You’ve said it all

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