Is there any concept harder to grasp than “the present?” Here’s an intellect vastly larger than mine, Augustine of Hippo, speaking to us from the fourth century: “How can the past and future be, when the past no longer is, and the future is not yet? As for the present, if it were always present and never moved on to become the past, it would not be time, but eternity.” Perhaps poetry, as is often the case, can shed some light?


To see what now is,

look to clouds.

No past we know of,

no future, either.

They are.



To see what now is,

look to fog, moving,

though it seems not to.

Mist melting within mist

as persons in a crowd.



To see what now is,

look to the sea.

Even calm it knows no stasis.

Only flux and flow and the

lingering chaos of pre-creation.



To see what now is,

look to you, look to me.

No further. For now,

for always, for ever we

are. We are.




Showing 3 reactions

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  • Sharon Matthews
    followed this page 2017-04-27 00:40:00 -0400
  • Tom O'Brien
    commented 2017-04-22 14:44:06 -0400
    Peter, The present is alive every instant. This helps me understand how the Divine can surprise us eternally. Next week I will march in Washington to remind us all that we need to love our planet 🌎 NOW. Peace, Tom
  • William J McKay
    commented 2017-04-22 12:13:20 -0400
    No clouds here today and none for the last 10 days. No fog here as the humidity is about 10… My body is depleted of moisture even as we drink water all day. We have done the Nevada desert, Las Vegas strip, and now Escondido CA at Breda’s family home. Sunny and 80 every day… Why doesn’t everyone live here…the answer of course, it is too crowded already. Back to Cape Cod Next Wednesday to the start of boating and fishing. Thank you for the fine poem. Bill and Moe