The Past, Present, and Future: A New Beginning…

        One more time, I would like to thank everyone who read my poems. I appreciate each and every one of you. With my poetry collection now complete, I’m moving on to the second half of “The Past, Present, and Future.”  This, of course, will be my first novel.  The code name for this project is “A New Beginning,” which is how I will refer to it until it is published.  “A New Beginning” is also the quasi-beginning of a bigger project I have in mind.  As I have mentioned before, though, that is a story, or adventure, for another day….

        As you can see from the updated countdown, my goal is to have “A New Beginning” published by the one-year anniversary of the creation of this blog.  In the meantime, I plan to use this blog to publish snippets from “A New Beginning” and updates on the writing process.  Additionally, I may even publish a poem from time to time.  Again, I thank everyone for their support.  Tonight I raise a glass to each of you; metaphorically, of course.  Although, I do love a good party… With that, I leave everyone for now with one last poem:

An Empty Bottle of Rum

Shaking bats from my head,
I awoke and saw an empty bottle of rum.

Somewhere, Hunter S. Thompson
Was tipping his cap.

The laptop, that infuriating laptop,
It was there too.

Shaking out one last bat,
I knew the journey had begun.

The rum-filled days of youthful summer,
Now a thing of the past.

The responsibility of middle-aged fall,
Greeted me along my present path;

With future promise of old age,
And lazy winter days.

The rebirth of spring,
Hopefully far, far away….

by Cody McCullough

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Photo by Elizabeth McCullough

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Acknowledgements

        Now that “The Past, Present, and Future: a Compilation of Free Verse” has come to a close, I would like to thank everyone who helped make this blog a reality.  At the beginning of the collection, I included a dedication to all of my muses.  As I mentioned in the preface, these poems were generated from the thoughts and ideas that have been floating through my consciousness for some time.  Those thoughts and ideas, though, would have been quite different if it hadn’t been for my muses.  For that, I thank each muse.

        I would also like to thank my wife for all of the wonderful photographs that were included in “The Past, Present, and Future.”  More than 30 of the photos in this collection were taken by Elizabeth.  Each photo added to the blog immensely, and I am very thankful that she was willing to let me use them in my blog.  So much so, that I added one more for today’s post.

        Next, I would like to thank everyone who read my poems.  I appreciate each one of you, and I am very thankful for all of the thoughtful comments my blog received.  It makes me feel good to know that so many people read and enjoyed my work.  I am also thankful for all of the blog award nominations that I received.  I am very honored.

        During the course of this blog, my words traveled far and wide.  As of today, my blog has been viewed more than 6,000 times, in more than 60 countries, and has more than 600 followers.  Not bad for 70 poems in 74 days.  It has been quite a journey.

        Lastly, I would like to spend a little time explaining my poetry writing process.  In my newspaper writing days, I tried to be as objective as possible.  When it came to writing poetry, though, my ultimate responsibility was to the story I was trying to tell through each poem.  That being the case, I did not feel the need to be objective or tell things as they actually happened.  Instead, I wrote each poem as it was meant to unfold.  The result was a combination of reality and imagined reality.  It was a fun process, but in no way should anything be interpreted literally.  I always intended for my work to be interpreted metaphorically.  With that, I bid you all adieu.

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Photo by Elizabeth McCullough

The End of Time

Billions of years from now,
The sun’s warm light will fade away.

Even the Milky Way, and the Universe,
Will eventually cease to exist.

Time spares no one, and nothing;
But what will become of time itself?

Perhaps it is part of a big cycle,
Continuing indefinitely and unending;

Flowing forward and backward,
Throughout all of eternity.

Or maybe it will fall victim to itself,
Like light trapped in a black hole.

Still yet, maybe time doesn’t even exist;
We just choose to believe it does.

In the end, I suppose we’ll never know
As we are too intertwined.

by Cody McCullough

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Photo by Elizabeth McCullough

The End

The End

Interlude 3

        The end has come.  With three collections of 23 poems now complete, “The Past, Present, and Future” is at the precipice of its inevitable finality.  Only “The End of Time” remains in the future.  Soon, it too will join its siblings in the past.  It has been a wonderful journey, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.  I’ve always believed that knowledge is power, and this collection has proved me right.  I now know and understand all that was needed, for the birth of “A New Beginning.”

        With every end, though, there is rebirth.  This project was always meant to be only half of “The Past, Present, and Future.”  Now my focus turns to “A New Beginning,” which will be revealed in just three days.  In the meantime, I would like to unveil the existence of five new poems to the collection.  In many ways, these poems pick up where the collection leaves off.  Each poem has been submitted for publication.  Perhaps, one day they will join the other 70 poems in a complete collection.  Time will tell…..

        Since I did not publish a poem today, I invite everyone to explore “The Past, Present, and Future.”  Many of the first poems in the collection remain virtually untouched, just waiting to be discovered by an adventurous spirit.  I suppose I’m getting ahead of myself, though, as that is a story for another day and another project….

The Journey Concludes…

Like the sun slowly setting in the west,
All journeys must conclude one day
Leaving only a path of frail footprints.

Perhaps, watching the final sunset
One comes to realize that preservation
Depends on how well the path was tended.

In the end, one cannot go back
And care for a path that was unkempt.
The past cannot be changed.

Soon the present and future will merge,
Like the last fiery sliver of sunshine
Melting into the horizon.

In this moment, perhaps, the journey moves inward
And begins again; giving us one last opportunity
To relive the entire path in a single flash.

What a wonderful experience that would be,
A convergence of the events of a lifetime
In a brief moment of enlightenment and awe.

A momentous and brief parade of all that was,
All that is, and all that will ever be,
Sending us off to the great beyond.

by Cody McCullough

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Photo by Cody McCullough

The Convergence

I stood alone in a sea of people,
As the convergence overtook me.

The past, present, and future,
Converging together in a moment.

Bodies gyrated around me,
As melodious tunes filled the air.

The floor recoiled from the shaking bodies,
Creating the sensation of a wave beneath my feet.

Then my surroundings began to fade away,
And I saw the eclipse of a lifetime.

Like the moon traveling across the sky,
The past slowly approached the future.

Embodied as the fiery, life-giving, sun,
The future moved closer to convergence.

In an instant, the paths crossed
Creating the convergent eclipse.

Instead of seeing darkness,
I became aware, miraculously aware.

I saw all, and was seen by all;
Finally, I understood.

Lost in time, I was transfixed in the event;
As it shaped me, and I shaped it.

Suddenly the two orbs began to separate,
And I felt the baggage of the past fall from my grasp.

My adolescence now deceased, my eyes opened
Seeing the world for the first time as a man.

by Cody McCullough

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My Apologies

I must apologize
For all that I have done,
And left undone.

I used to think
It was not my fault,
It was just nature and nurture.

They deserved the blame.
They made me this way.
Who was I to stand in their way?

That was before I understood
There is only the mind,
Nothing else matters.

Nature and nurture
May have shaped me,
But my choices created the mold.

by Cody McCullough

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Photo by Elizabeth McCullough

Awareness

Being aware
Is understanding
All that is around you.

Being miraculously aware
Is understanding
All that is within you.

Being enlightened
Is understanding
Each must be in balance.

by Cody McCullough

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Photo by Elizabeth McCullough

The Cool Morning Air

The cool morning air,
Awakens my consciousness.

Its gentle breath,
Reminds me of life.

As the sun slowly fills the sky,
My sluggish spirit lifts.

Drowsily my eyes open,
Seeing the pale blue sky.

The stars that laid me to rest,
Have gone back into hiding.

Like an unending alarm clock,
Songbirds beckon me to arise.

A new day has begun,
And it wants to play.

My body tries to join,
But it is still deep in slumber.

I leave it behind to float away,
Along the hidden path.

by Cody McCullough

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Photo by Elizabeth McCullough