Life is like a journey; there are the places that you have been, there is where you are at right now, and there are the places that you hope to reach. That idea is what this collection of poetry is all about. The poems in this collection come from my memories, experiences, thoughts, and ideas that have all floated through the river of consciousness in my mind for some time. Transformed into poetry, now they have formed their own river through the past, present, and future.
This collection of free verse poetry is a representation of my life experiences, intertwined with the history of mankind and society in general, along with a look to the future. Divided into three parts, “The Past,” “The Present,” and “The Future,” the poems in this collection delve into various themes, including the namesake of each collection along with life, death, and time itself. Many of the poems themselves are intertwined with my experiences and these themes. In the end, the poems may be less about me and more about understanding and awareness.
The first collection of poems, “The Past,” is partially written about my childhood growing up in Central Oregon and partially about society itself growing into its current state of affairs. I was born in Redmond, Oregon in 1979 and society, of course, was born much, much earlier. One of my goals in writing this collection was to capture the past so that it would not fade away, as so many things do. Additionally, I tried to encapsulate my experiences, with the experiences of society as a whole. In the process, I hope that readers will connect with the experiences of their own childhood, and of the past in general, as these poems are really just metaphors for the experiences that we all look back upon. The past has a hold on all of us, sometimes more than we know and understand. By exploring it, I found both awareness and understanding of what it was, is, and always will be.
The second collection of poems, “The Present,” is written about my life after leaving Central Oregon in 2000, and the current state of the world. With the exception of a year I spent living in Florida, and various travels, this chapter of my life has unfolded in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. From Portland to Eugene, and just about everywhere in between, I have lived in many towns and cities in the Willamette Valley. This unique place in the world, and my experiences within it, is one of the focuses of this collection of poems. During this time I married, became a father, purchased my first home, and switched careers, all experiences that encompass the human experience as seen through the lenses of an American. The idea of what it is to be alive and aware in current times was another focal point of this collection.
The poems within this collection are a bridge between the past and the future. Both past and future seek to influence the present; at times one, or the other, is more successful. These poems are no different. The themes of the former and latter bleed into this collection, intertwining and connecting the work as a whole. Overall, the present was one of the most intriguing collections to work on, as it encapsulates my current state of being and how that relates to the current state of affairs in society.
The final collection of poems, “The Future,” focuses on what is yet to come both for myself, as an individual, and the world in general. In the collection, I explore both what the world is, and what it could be. Along the same line, I also explore my future and the uncertainty that surrounds it. Understanding, awareness, and coping with one’s mortality are major themes in “The Future.”
The poems in this entire collection are written in free verse, as it is the form of poetry that I feel best represents what life is like on the West Coast, and in the Pacific Northwest particularly. Unlike other parts of the world where there are more entrenched social hierarchies, the Northwest is a place of free thinkers with relaxed attitudes. This social climate, though, is in flux as more and more people migrate to the region. With time comes change, but hopefully the past is not forgotten, and in the future we will preserve the parts of our past that are meaningful. I hope that you enjoy reading these poems as much as I enjoyed writing them….