What Is Shall Be Was

Shadows tread in life’s past.
Embers gleam red passion,
pale to ashen grey.
Ship wakes sink into oblivion.
Sand dollars, once much more.

Daguerrotypes.
Faces unknown
posed in serious countenance,
fade frozen in corroded frames.

Vestigial pock marks upon the earth.
Life marches forward
directionally unaware,
into the past.


Written for Open Link Night at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. April is national poetry month so drop by to imbibe some words with us – or better yet, step up to the bar, no prompt on OLN. It’s an opportunity to share as you wish! Bar opens at 3:00 PM Boston time. Photo in public domain

56 thoughts on “What Is Shall Be Was

    • lillian April 10, 2017 / 11:17 pm

      The clock keeps ticking….funny how our shadow can also be in front of us. Wouldn’t you love it if you could ask what your next step will be in to? ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

  1. thotpurge April 6, 2017 / 3:11 pm

    Marching forward into the past… have always wondered if time is truly linear!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. kim881 April 6, 2017 / 3:12 pm

    The second stanza could stand on its own, Lillian, a word daguerrotype.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian April 10, 2017 / 11:18 pm

      Great idea, Kim. I adjusted a bit and sent it into One Sentence Poems. We’ll see…..Thanks for the idea. My poetry mentor always says, “look for the poem within a poem.”

      Liked by 1 person

      • kim881 April 11, 2017 / 1:38 am

        Useful advice!

        Like

  3. Linda Kruschke April 6, 2017 / 3:18 pm

    “Life marches forward
    directionally unaware”

    It just keeps going, doesn’t it? And we spend so much of life either looking back or worrying about what’s to be and thereby missing the now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian April 10, 2017 / 11:19 pm

      Exactly………the present……it’s all wrapped up for us to enjoy! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Bev April 6, 2017 / 3:19 pm

    An evocative poem. Reminds me of Walt Whitman’s “The powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse”.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jane Dougherty April 6, 2017 / 3:24 pm

    Great opening line. Perhaps we do cast a shadow in the past, as the past overshadows our present.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian April 10, 2017 / 11:20 pm

      Oh yes. And sometimes I wonder if my shadow is doing its own little shenanigans behind my back where I can’t see it!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

    • lillian April 10, 2017 / 11:20 pm

      That’s the aroma I love when camping ….. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

    • lillian April 10, 2017 / 11:21 pm

      Thank you, Rachel! So glad you enjoyed.

      Like

  6. whippetwisdom April 6, 2017 / 3:41 pm

    ‘Life marches forward directionally unaware, into the past’ is such a powerful line – I often wonder whether time is linear

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian April 10, 2017 / 11:23 pm

      Sometimes I just stare at the clock and wonder why I can’t stop it. Did you ever read the play Our Town? In it, the main character (who is dead) is allowed to go back to earth to relive just one day. He’s told to pick an uneventful day (rather than a birthday, or a birth etc) because even that will be powerful to relive. Interesting, right? Every moment is precious.

      Liked by 1 person

      • whippetwisdom April 11, 2017 / 4:01 am

        Thank you for introducing me to ‘Our Town’ Lillian – an uneventful day can still hold so many precious moments and there is silence, peace and love in the uneventfulness itself. Having witnessed so many friends and family members die young has made me deeply appreciate the time we have together and in this lifetime. It is all about fully present in each moment, about enjoying the now ๐Ÿ’– xxx

        Liked by 1 person

  7. therisa April 6, 2017 / 4:59 pm

    Yes, time moves forward, in a linear manner, but do we have the wisdom to accept this and flow, with the tides, in whatever manner, they go?

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian April 10, 2017 / 11:24 pm

      …and can we throw a pebble in and disrupt the flow….or build a damn and channel the flow? All interesting questions, right?

      Like

  8. Grace April 6, 2017 / 5:32 pm

    I love the time marching forward and the whole last stanza ~ Now that I am older, I feel it marching even faster ~

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian April 10, 2017 / 11:25 pm

      I so agree, Grace. The older I get the faster time seems to go by. Thankful for every day.

      Like

  9. Singledust April 6, 2017 / 5:58 pm

    past present and future all teach us more about ourselves and the life we are meant to lead, what do we do with the lessons and the time given us? very thought provoking words Lilian!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Adda April 6, 2017 / 6:42 pm

    Thought provoking Lil. Each description carries it’s own realization that nothing is constant or stays the same.. even a rock changes with time.. I love the last sentence (Life marches forward
    directionally unaware, into the past.) All things return to what they once were… a good Catholic phrase: ashes to ashes, dust to dust… rocks to sediment.. Love it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian April 10, 2017 / 11:27 pm

      I shared this comment with George. He says you should have been a geologist! ๐Ÿ™‚
      Yes….sometimes my pen does get going where I can’t even figure out how it got there….pondering….

      Like

  11. frankhubeny April 6, 2017 / 7:27 pm

    Nice wood fire. I wonder why those people in those old photographs had a serious countenance?

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian April 10, 2017 / 11:27 pm

      I’ve often wondered that too. Nobody in those days ever smiled for the camera! Maybe it was because they were afraid of that little “poof” when the camera went off?

      Liked by 1 person

  12. divalounger April 6, 2017 / 9:08 pm

    Yup–your last stanza is wonderful!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. kanzensakura April 6, 2017 / 9:30 pm

    Oh those serious faces in the old pics, especially those in the memento mori…Time does move on.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian April 10, 2017 / 11:29 pm

      Thankful for every day. I wonder, as did Frank, why people always were so somber in those kinds of photos?

      Like

      • kanzensakura April 11, 2017 / 4:34 pm

        They were rare and very expensive. so rather than risk messing up a photo with a frivolous appearance, the folks would be serious. It was an important occasion. and then, many of them took photos of the dead – a woman holding her dead baby, several dead children in bed, a woman beside the coffin of her husband – not exactly smiling occasions. The Victorians were odd folk and even now, here in the south, ghoulish as it may seem, many people will take photos of their loved ones in their casket. So!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lillian April 11, 2017 / 6:44 pm

        I have the most amazing photo of my father and his twin sister at about age 2, on a leather formal chair. How in heavens’ name they got them to sit still!!! What you say makes absolute sense here…….

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      • kanzensakura April 11, 2017 / 9:11 pm

        It is hard to get any child to sit still for a photo. esp. when under 4 years old.

        Like

  14. 26lettersisnotenough April 6, 2017 / 10:43 pm

    What we see as hurtling towards the future, or into the future, will at one time be considered quaint, or even naive. We spend so much of our time planning for a future that never was. Memento mori, such a sad, sad day.
    Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian April 10, 2017 / 11:29 pm

      I often try to remember, the real gift is today….that’s why it’s called the present! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

    • lillian April 11, 2017 / 7:18 am

      Thank you Bryan. Glad you enjoyed!

      Like

  15. Teresa April 7, 2017 / 4:17 pm

    That last stanza is brilliant.

    Like

  16. Laura Bloomsbury April 7, 2017 / 4:21 pm

    “Sand dollars, once much more” – the loveliest of lines Lilian ๐Ÿ™‚

    Like

  17. lynn__ April 7, 2017 / 9:14 pm

    The photo warms me and your words are food for thought. Great title…and vocabulary, Lillian!

    Like

  18. Sue Anderson April 8, 2017 / 12:50 am

    What an interesting perspective on time and its passage. Really enjoyed this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian April 10, 2017 / 11:31 pm

      Thank you, Sue. So glad you enjoyed! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

    • lillian April 10, 2017 / 11:30 pm

      I’m so glad you enjoyed! Thanks for the comment and the read — truly appreciated!

      Liked by 1 person

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