An Even Shorter History of Metaphysics

An Even Shorter History of Metaphysics

Two spools, with one unrolling as for age,
one rolling up to represent the growth
of memory (as consciousness), both truth;
no two successive moments are the same,

and Heraclitus’ river cannot save.
The metaphysics troubles us. So, see
elastic band, first singularity,
expanding ever out, a line in space.

Forget the line as line, regard the action:
continual, indivisible, as time
traces its way outwards, onwards, like a team
of workers laying tracks without restriction,

the tension and extension being all.
Movement is all: we are always changing,
remaining as we are a form of ranging
that gives the eternal lie to standing still.

Time is the runner that Achilles raced,
head-start enough to make us down at heel;
then limp no further than the final hill,
feel death’s cold fingers fasten on the wrist.

This poem © Oliver Tearle 2022