Before it is Too Late

Imagined Landscape / ArtRage ~ click to enlarge

It is not a complaint, mind you that I confess I realized this morning it is probably too late. There simply is not time left. As if one could know how much time is left. What I know is I am reluctant to live without dalliance and daydreams, digressions of musings and wonderings that would be sacrificed for the magnum opus I have set myself to finish. Before it is too late, I must let go.

What is required just now is a funnel into which I pour all doubt and insight, imagination and injury, hope and hallelujahs, filter fine, boil for days, and hold to the light the essence of three chapters from said opus. Before it is too late, I could harvest the bits that can be digested, sustenance somewhere sausaged with discords and distractions and debates that are not this homeopathic soul of what I know, think and feel.

I could perhaps sketch the spare skeleton upon whose bones the true meat hangs, and let go any more attention to mere clothes.

While there is still time, maybe it is not too late for poetry.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. I love the image, and it is never too late for poetry. As for dalliances and daydreams, digressions of musings and wonderings, life without them does not bear thinking about.

  2. Fred, what a wonderful gift you have given yourself . . . dalliance and daydreams, musing and wonderings. It is never too late for poetry. Thanks, I needed this reminding also.