Past years are figures in old glass
wobbly in a lake
wrinkled by a stone.
The lake will settle down
a face will reappear
in a scent of evergreen.
Years are present as noon as now
or in a rippled moonglade night;
they summon shadow as in fragile memory
easy as stepping into a lake
breaking the present mirror.
It is the way events are stored,
they come back twisted
in wrinkles of water
blurred inscapes into today.
* * *
Richard O. Moore, now 91, is a poet, filmmaker, and seminal figure in public radio and television. Moore belonged to the San Francisco Renaissance literary circle of Kenneth Rexroth in the 1940s and 1950s, a precursor of the Beat poetry movement. "By the Lake" was published in his second collection, Writing the Silences.