The Remembered Past

Time is an illusion, but the past is not, for the calendar doesn’t lie. For me, the remembered past will always be neither better nor worse, but simply the timeless present.

As children do, I once beheld the distant stars
Aflame on moonless nights like glinting shields
Converting the black sky to massed and shining fields
Of stern and gilded warriors on guard
Much later I discovered that this was not so
That stars were simply fires lit by God
To show the way to mariners who slowly plod
The vast and empty sea of my back yard

I navigated ageing just by being there
And soon I found that I had finished school
I found her working in a small firm steno pool
But soon enough reality took hold
A family depended on my working hard
And so I did, as so did all of you
The stars of moonless nights a dark and faded view
The warriors on guard now dim and cold

For time is an illusion, but the stars can wait
They wait till we are home, our journey paid
When once again we see the star-bright fire laid
Upon the deep black distant marbled sky
More brilliant than a thousand fiercely burning suns
That shines upon the sea of my backyard
Where now it’s I who stands at ease on solemn guard
Where mariners and gilded soldiers lie

So silent and so peaceful that they seem asleep
In serried ranks beneath the dreaming past
Where present aimless dreaming flights must be recast
Into the fresh dreamed dreams of yesterday
To be remembered far into the distant time
Where mariners and gilded soldiers take
The wonders hardly wondered till they rise and wake
Remembered pasts where gilded soldiers play

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