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There is a living cemetery
at the heart of my college
education, informed by the words
of dead men, portrayed in the ruins
of ancient civilizations, striving
for the aspirations of martyrs
and heroes long since fallen.

This ceaseless worship
of the past, dwelling upon times
disconnected from our own, views
the world through unseeing eyes,
closed to changing the standards
of government, culture, or religion,
closed to anything untried or unproven.

The future is now, bountiful,
waiting to be born and shaped,
molded and melded from our dreams
and our needs, cradled by all
humanity as the promise for better
lives, loves, and longings, not lost
in the stale mausoleums of antiquity.

Learning must be lived, must be
seen and heard and felt, not
explicated one page at a time,
memorized and quoted by tired minds
forced to breathe dust and conform,
to adhere to the codes of men
whose worlds no longer exist.

Step back from the reliquaries, breathe
free and gaze upon the unfolding life
with every color, every scent, every nuance
of beauty and freedom that renew
each moment, in perpetuity, fresh
as a spring flower, waiting to push
free from the grave.


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Borderline, by Paul Cales, © December 2004