You humans are all alike, no time no time,
no time is beautiful, before birth and after life.

My pancakes are shallow thoughts
stacked in the kitchen,
she adds a little honey.

I’m late for work at the hardware store,
mostly robots looking for spare parts.
They’re not like her.

I knew she’d leave soon enough,
soon enough I’d play the game, pretend I wanted her to go—
that’s how shallow I am.

She melded days with nights,
the phases of the earth and all things turning,
sun light, sun dark, candle lit, candle

You plan to forget me,
human, but I’m coming back,
so forget your plan.

She could freeze a butterfly above her open hand,
its wings of flight, each shining scale.

She pulled its time away, she told me,
left it not a second to beat against the air,
but I know it was something she did to my eyes
to make them see.

She took the bus to Uluru, said she was going to
write a little poetry. I cried in the kitchen,
splashes in my Pinot Grigio.

Some possibilities are too extreme even for speculative fiction, like diluting perfectly good Pinot Grigio.

My short story The Phantasms of Tocantins has appeared at Sci Phi Journal and is now free to read on-line. Continues →

whether—ten percent chance of liquid metal showers in the afternoon. Some detail below, as well as phantasma featuring three of the ghosts from Phantasms of Tocantins.

42 thoughts on “humans

  1. us humans eh? going about a-b & pro-creating without any creating, all for the satisfaction of the act. another densely marauding poem, pillaging a pack of satisfying images. quality as always Steve. i don’t drink wine, coffee is already bitter so best for crying into.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Sascha. I’m a bit hit and miss, depending on factors like how much Pinot is in the fridge and whether I’ve had an apocalyptic day or not, but I was pleased with the pancakes. I particularly liked and admired your unflinching Bridge piece, Steve.


    • Your comment just that makes me wish that I had a few more moments to read more of your blog….to see how much is Pinot or not. And, thank you; you’re very kind for commenting on my piece. I look forward to reading more of your work. I don’t think I’m anywhere near your caliber, but maybe there’s osmosis. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks. A good question that I could say a lot about except the internet would fall asleep.

      For me, Now is when we see, feel , touch, live in the world, but the ‘we’ is a complication. I think we’re made of time, created by our past, and that creation, together with dreams and aspirations for the future, determines how the Now affects us, right down to how we perceive each moment.

      I’ll stop now, I can hear distant snoring. :).

      Liked by 1 person

  2. “before birth and after life” in my own work, I’ve always imagined these times of non-existence to be akin to a perfect contemplation of peace — almost a kind of meditation with an utter lack of any thought or personal presence, the kind found almost each night in black, dreamless sleep. From such a standpoint, perhaps the fleeting moments of one’s consciousness begin to feel like the aberration disturbing the peace, creating inconsequent and short-lived ripples between twin-unchanging eternities.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Beautifully expressed, and I agree. I imagine that the state of nirvana reached through meditative practice is a place of being without the self and without the dual disturbances of time: the past with its memories and all we attach to them, or the future of hopes, fears, dreams, and so on. For me the nature of time is of great interest (and a mystery). ⏳

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Congratulations Steve! Words and thoughts connected, explosions of visuals. Your works have all these layers, I can never just read it once for my mind pops off the page with your visuals.
    Eg. “before birth and after life”, and
    “she could freeze a butterfly above her open hand” wheww you certainly do create paintings with your words.
    Loved it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Tamaya, glad you enjoyed. Those particular ideas about time that you quoted have been with me for a while, in my short stories as well. Time as a fluid, that might be drawn away and restored, has always appealed to me. How amazing it would be to have the ability to do that.


    • Well this is a bit embarrassing. I searched through, and the story was called “Low Tide.” My records show that I sent it to a publisher but they never responded. I could put it up here on Inconstant Light, but I still have a faint hope that one day I will find time to send stories like this to other publishers (although it’s been two years now and I haven’t). I apologise, Sobhana.


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