Gershon Hepner

Reinventing the Past, But Not the Present

Unless we reinvent the past
we’ll be forever doomed to dwell
upon a stage where we’re the cast
of stories other people tell.

The stories other people tell
about our past are also those
that tend to hold us in their spell
as holy, though we never chose
to be the villains in their story;
so if our choice is liberty,
not paths that others took to glory,
we must create a fantasy
not only about what we are
but also of the dies once cast
by ancestors who never were,
we say, role models for our past.

But wait; there is one major tense,
the present, we can’t reinvent.
However much it makes no sense
we have to give it our consent.

Gershon Hepner

‘The job of the paleontologist is to reinvent the past.
There could be no task more demanding of the scientific imagination.’
John Noble Wilford, NYTBookReview 11/19/2000, reviews
Richard Fortey’s ‘Trilobite! Eyewitness to Evolution’.

About the Author
Gershon Hepner is a poet who has written over 25,000 poems on subjects ranging from music to literature, politics to Torah. He grew up in England and moved to Los Angeles in 1976. Using his varied interests and experiences, he has authored dozens of papers in medical and academic journals, and authored "Legal Friction: Law, Narrative, and Identity Politics in Biblical Israel." He can be reached at
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