Thursday, January 16, 2014

Past Perfect

image borrowed from bing

Past Perfect

“Those who do not learn from the past are doomed
to repeat it.”--George Santayana.

Nostalgia can be a double-edged sword,
bright things chosen, dreamt of,
joys risen, lessons taught
then forgot, aspects
of truth slain, the facts spun,
mere illusions wove
from fallen memories;

but do we ever actually recall
who it was that bled,
who was bitten,
what was broken,
what was bought,
who was caught,
who came when sought,
who won or lost,
how many were shot,
who spoke at the rally,
how many times she was stung,
how bad the tap water stank,
what ballad was sung,
who it was ran the fastest
while others sat mute, undone, withdrawn,
what we ate ten Thursdays ago for lunch,
who was taken by the authorities,
how many lives have been torn asunder
by our pride, hubris, apathy, & ego,
how many opportunities we blew,
how our parents felt when we fled,
how much vodka we drank on our 21st birthday,
how we finally came to grace,
yet clung to stupidity
& kept repeating mistakes?

What had been
shown--then forgot,
created--then begot,
began--but soon lost,
shaken--not stirred,
looked at but not seen,
ridden but not mastered,
sprung but not freed,
chilled but not frozen?

Is the past given to us
only as secrets to be kept?
Is what we finally became
something we ever dealt with?

Can we ever 
be woken from false memories,
be shat from self-imposed dungeons,
be sworn to absolute secrecy,
be widely known as 
someone who is
honest, held in esteem, 
hidden from harm,
drawn from accuracy,
given a third chance,
allowed to let the Truth
be hewn from the entrails
of what we have already

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets MTB  

Would you like to hear the author read this Strong Verb poem to you?


Mary said...

I think there is a lot that we don't recall. Sometimes even intentionally, as it is sometimes convenient to forget. Sometimes apathy is rampant, and sometimes there is just too much too keep track of, and sometimes our memories are different than others' memories and we end up wondering just who is right!! Somewhere in there is truth, but often it is buried deep!

Claudia said...

i've learned that we remember best when things were connected with heavy emotions...either good ones or bad ones... those are the things i remember to the tiniest details...others i just forget because of their average nature.. let two people tell about the same moment and you will hear two different stories...even more with memories.. really...police officers can sing their own song about that..

Björn said...

We definitely filter what we remember ... and unfortunately we don't always recall the important but fill our mind with trivialities.. And friend, today you are almost writing form... and so many great rhymes, when I have left them totally out.

Gabriella said...

I guess that sometimes forgetting things can be for the better. It keeps us sane. Can you imagine if we remembered all the things that have happened to us?

Anonymous said...

Glenn, interesting. I believe the past is what we make of it the further away from it we get. >KB

Brian Miller said...

truth slain is a great verb early on in this the nod to bond in there as well...our past, our history def can get a hold on us and determine our lives if we let it...getting caught in the moment....i like drawn from accuracy as well....hewn...another great one...

alan1704 said...

Remembrance, emotion, the depths of the mind, i love how this is formed, a bit to frightening for me, but it really is very powerful. Brave and bold.

Anonymous said...

Very powerful and thought provoking. Memories can be our masters or our companions. It is all in how we view and process them. It's all about perception as well which is always flavored by our own personal experiences. Wonderful read.

Nara Malone said...

Loved this: " mere illusions wove
from fallen memories"

I think we learn just a painful slow process, inching toward someone new. We never get to be as perfect as we think we should be but a lot of people manage to live a life we can stamp good enough.

Grace said...

Our memories are selective yet it so to protect our ego & emotions if we are weak and unable to accept the harsh reality ~ Good one Glenn ~

Ronald Shields said...

that sieve like memory is the part of the psychic apparatus that keeps us sane...this is really good Glenn.

hyperCRYPTICal said...

Oh superb Glenn - we remember what is comfortable, what we deem noteworthy. We are what we remember or what we choose remember...
Anna :o]

Victoria said...

This is one power-packed poem, Glenn, that totally disproves a point I claimed--that passive voice is ineffective. It works so well in this, I think because of the choice of verbs, the subject and the variation of word choices. You are such a good writer. Where do you find the quotes you use as lead-ins, if I may ask?

Glenn Buttkus said...

Thanks Victoria; the quotes are sought out after I determine the title, choosing from like a dozen web sites that feature quotes of all types; always fun to find the quote that fits the poetics.

kaykuala said...

There are lots of questions asked of ourselves. One often confuse them in terms of priority. Things not of material consequences get priority and mess up one's time management. Happens most times.Brilliant take Glenn!


billgncs said...

memory is a false god we worship until it fades beyond our grasp

HA said...

We do not remember. We fail to learn many times from the deeds of the past. Mistakes are forgot because we tend to forget many things. It may well be an instinct to protect us from the burdens of them.
May be it is good to forget.

Thought-provoking and thoughtful writing.

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