todays: early and late


I remember when we lived
beneath creation
with our language suited
to the fatuous and fantastic.

When we never wondered
what our slide rules might not measure,
we saw our ambit through camerae obscurae,
pinpoints of the truth inverted.

When nothing noticed
could be judged too small,
we were circled by minutiae
from the fawning factories,
androids programmed to admire.

When we chanted with believers
and rang the bell three times
to triplicate
our blessings.


Today we all must breathe
the sky, the water birds
that fall and flutter in their death throes
on the earth.

Today I tramp along a linear regression,
a distended trickle
through a chain of muddy ponds
in empty-headed dreaming of a river.

But in my mind a gif, a spinning
waxen cylinder, evokes the age of life,
scratches melodies for an English lunar lover.

I bow and waltz around the puddles
while morphs of insects
bite and tear my flesh;
drips of salted fluid:
my gift to them.


Causes once for action are dormant now;
my small life—an increment to destruction,
and in my death there’ll be
no burning ardor. The dead see all
but discover nothing.

My destination is a meeting
to be held beside the sunset,
a dusty roll call with the ghostlings.

Before the night,
I’ll ring the bell three times
to honor Jakaíra,
feathered goddess,
vanquished queen of morning mists,
made mortal by our unrequitable
earthly fire.

I’m a great fan of Jakaíra, god of mists and fog in the mythology of Brazil’s Tupi-Guarani peoples. Although I don’t have a signed photograph, she makes guest appearances in the wheel of dreams and the laundromat of time.

machinae ex deus (detail above)

31 thoughts on “todays: early and late

  1. I’m drowning in beauty. What a feast. But I’m mixing metaphors. Can you drown in a feast? I like to sip them slowly, then go back for a little more. Bravissimo!

    • Thank you so much, BG. It depends. Possibly a feast of say chocolate pudding or ice cream. It would have to be a fairly large bowl. 🍨 I’m pretty sure you have death by chocolate over there. 😛

  2. This might be one of your finest pieces Steve. Hard to determine, that, but it’s up there.

    So many lovely lovely phrases like:

    When nothing noticed
    could be judged too small,
    we were circled by minutiae

    and :

    Causes once for action are dormant now;
    my small life—an increment to destruction,

    Much pleasure for me here.


    • Thanks so much Frank. My mouth is hanging open, but I’m still typing. 😃 Interesting the lines you chose. I find it hard to see myself and my circles with clarity, without drifting into bitterness, even pride or whatever. I tried to be true without the darkness, although I still carry stuff hardly changed from childhood.

      When I was ten or so I took a galena crystal from my rock collection, put a sharp wire on it attached to a downpipe and listened to many radio stations at once through a tiny earpiece. We had radios of course but … small things. 🤓

    • I personally think the small things are the ones that matter. I don’t feel I can adequately grasp the biggest issues and deal well with them, but the small things, the smaller elements, sometimes I can do something with those.

      I like your small things, blended as they are into bigger stories. Nice work. Now go do more! LMAO

  3. This starts off so optimistic, but it feels as if a different reality sets in, one in which nature begins to die and realization that not all is wonderful occurs. For whom the bell tolls…three times…
    Well done.

    • Thanks, I hope you have a safe return journey by hypershuttle, 🚀 and thanks also for an insightful look at what happens on planet earth at your place. 🙂

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