the shadow sun

the tower

Through the window, washes
on a watercolor planet,
rainy autumn shades in spring, and
in the early evening, scattered photon showers
are forecast, a luminous return of light
from the shadow sun.

Indoors there are smaller mysteries,
trailing motes in negative space—
old-fashioned sunlight
leaving lamps and bulbs,
domesticities and peripherals,
drawn out between the curtains
to the shadow sun.

My exploration of the planetary surface
is tentative and random.
What could be the purpose of this
orthogonal gridding, these streets, these corners,
so much symbolic signage?
Is poesy any use at all?

I record a few dimensions
with my laser measure
and come across Célia at the coffee shop.

In cases of a close encounter
with Célia,
regulations must be followed.
I’m sure I have them somewhere
in the pockets of my shrink wrap rain gear.

All I find is the height in centimeters
of a solar obelisk measured on my journey,
and coffee cards, dog eared with one stamp,
the Célia card as well.

What will I do now?

Here, take this map
and follow its directions.

(I must have asked out loud
when I thought I’d only typed rhetorically.)

I trace the arrows sketched around the streets.
This loop is closed, it leads me back
to the coffee shop
and you.

You’ll need more guidance,
a cappuccino too,
I’ll be here when you return.

Could we talk about the shadow sun?
The concept makes me nervous.

Any physicist would have concerns about a shadow sun, drawing in light and re-emitting it. It doesn’t worry me though.

Danta in Black has appeared in Chappy Fiction’s ‘Time Travel Tales’ anthology and it’s now on Amazon (Kindle and kindling formats). The antho consists of twenty stories, including New York Times best sellers and authors who are Hugo and Nebula Award winners. Continues →

artwork the tower

41 thoughts on “the shadow sun

  1. i am currently in a discussion about authentic personality, which i take to be when you can alter your persona, your behaviour to suit the persona & behaviour of another, or in various social situations, which i sense you are sort of driving at with

    In cases of a close encounter
    with Célia,
    regulations must be followed.

    which is just a lovely case of synchronicity.

    • Yes, the masks we wear and the reasons. Reminds a line from Michael Dransfield’s ‘Isabella’ – i love all poets; there is/no private self. I don’t think it’s quite true, in poetry the self is there but it can be encoded and obscure :).

    • Dylan Thomas when asked about the meaning of his poems explained that he isn’t to be tasked with divulging that; it was the job of the reader & critics. so he seems to invite interpretation, to sift through to find, well anything, so seeking the poet there is certainly one place we should go.

  2. Gorgeous piece Steve. I love the puzzle of it and the flow.

    I, too, was nervous and thanked goodness for written instructions.

    The art work is exquisite.



    • Thanks so much Frank. Yes indeed, and I’m wondering if there might be a minor conflict between being an intensely private person and writing poetry on the internet :).

    • Thanks Vanessa. Some of it is based on my experiences in different places, you know, like the odd round-trip to Proxima Centauri when there are cheap flights in economy :mrgreen:.

      Shouldn’t be too long with the epilepsy and sf thing. I was fortunate that it stopped soon after my teens. I started writing, just need time to finish, so easy to find at the end of the year :(.

    • I’m curious how full those flights are 🙂
      Oh I’m glad to hear your epilepsy ended! My sister was not that fortunate, but finally in the last few years, she’s had relief with new medication. Look forward to reading it!

    • Usually pretty full, Vogons and Klingons returning from holidays on earth and so on, and it feels very crowded. The Arcturians are all tentacles and suckers, and on my last trip one of them snaffled up my beer from the other side of the aisle.

      I’m noticing this is a bit incongruent :), anyway … there are so many different forms of epilepsy that I think it’s kind of personal in a way, and sufferers experience it differently. It’s great that your sister’s getting some benefit from her meds.

  3. No physics needed to make it beautiful. I prefer the mystery of not knowing what I’m reading. 🙂
    This line appeals to my foolish heart:
    This loop is closed, it leads me back
    to the coffee shop
    and you.
    And the paradox of “shadow sun” is exquisite.

    • Thanks, BG. I have a theory we all have foolish hearts. I know mine has a yo-yo and a propeller hat. I do like physics, for various technical reasons to do with my life, and I suspect my earlier posts on physics topics might be useful for insomniacs :).

    • Thanks, Candy. Every Friday I wonder what I’m going to write, usually something turns up. This week I’m thinking of buying a stack of cough lozenges and looking at the wrappers ;).

      Glad you’re well. I write because I enjoy it, I post and try to publish because someone out there might get something from my writing. I think they’re good enough reasons for anyone :).

      PS I got something out of your well expressed piece, about how I feel myself when I’m ill, what that means and doesn’t.

    • Thank you so much for telling me about what makes you want to write. I definitely get something from your poetic fantasies. Much more than I get from cough drop wrappers.

  4. There’s a mixture of the modern but, at the same time, a bit of the traditional in the modern – there’s a human element with human emotions mixed in with “the shrink wrap.” The colors are interplayed with space-type imagery that has a beauty all its own. The images are very stark, unique and absolutely beautiful. You clearly have a very scientific, science fiction-type mind but with a human heart and imagery. I love this poem, absolutely love it.

    • Thank you for those kind comments, what a great review, and also very valuable feedback. 💙

      I appreciate that there is a difference between what you might call humanist/romantic and scientific/technical, but for me personally that difference is very slight, it almost doesn’t exist, I just write in the way that is natural for me. Admittedly a bit thoughtless, but so far no equations at least. 🤓

      I should probably mention that I definitely do have a heart. I’ve just misplaced it. I’m sure it will turn up eventually. 🙂

  5. Oh your heart is there. Whether you realize it or not, you tease the reader with it and not just in this piece but in much of your work which I’ve begun to read in earnest. It’s fascinating how you manage to do so you to me. For my writings, the heart and soul are both transparent because this is my place where I reveal all. No walls or boundaries exist; the humanist. From what I’ve read so far, you reveal a bit and surround it with both beautiful and clever imagery and other devices that it’s like a puzzle. But, no doubt, it’s there.

    • Thanks for reading my stuff. Your hypothesis is quite compelling. 😸 Now I have an image of myself in my red ‘I, Robot’ T-shirt. I am twirling around a pole. I slowly remove the T-shirt and throw it to a small audience who ignore me. I rip away my epidermis and the layers of my flesh, discard them, tear open my ribs, throw all of me away. When nothing is left, my show is over.

    • I should apologize. I think it would have been wise to self-censor that little cameo. But I didn’t, so I had better explain–everyone is different, and in a way, for me that’s what being completely open signifies (apart from a little amusement). 🙂

    • No need to apologize. I believe in people being authentic, who they truly are. You were being your true self, which is refreshing. I speak my mind, even as I’m just as “warped” as you, because that’s my true self. I’m not offended by much, believe me. I found your comment highly amusing, actually. 🙂

Leave a Reply