the fifth season: célia


The seasons sometimes dawdle, hesitate at the door,
run and stumble
when they’re late to catch
the Keplerian train.

Winter’s ice cracks in glasses,
spring’s choirs sing,
summer’s orchestras tune their instruments.
I do not listen.

Who shall I blame for wounds
that will never mend, for the past
that will never be my future?

My childhood wings torn out,
I have cut and glued and pinned
a balsa pair together,
but they are thin and fragile, and I am cold,


Célia reads my thoughts.

Don’t be such a
melodramatic marshmallow.
Your wings would serve no purpose
on this gravitacious planet.

She’s slightly luminous,
with ordinary teeth
—unusual for an alien—
and a range of superpowers.

What about my back story?

I shrug.

She piloted her hypercraft
in a slingshot round a distant
neutron star, chose a casual outfit
and landed on a nearby roof
in a beam of flocculated light.


She oscillates her hand: so so.

Let’s catch a sky train
to the southern highlands,
I’d like to tourist there.

And so we did, with my awkward
wooden wings folded in a luggage rack,
the clickety-clack of wheels on clouds,
and a little smoky steam wandering
through the carriage.

To be continued due to the arrival of unexpected guest verses. I’ll have to make a run to the bottle shop.

Aerial trains are recycled from Danta in black where they make a brief appearance.

Hyperspace (detail above)—a snap of Célia’s photon cruiser exiting hyperspace. I think. I took it with my Kodak Brownie Starmeter and it caught fire, along with my hair, but I managed to put them both out.

27 thoughts on “the fifth season: célia

  1. Oh good grief. That is so delightful! Melodramatic marshmallow, flocculated light, awkward wooden wings. I adore the 3rd stanza. And that’s just the first read. Will linger longer over second.

    • Thanks BG. 💙 I was pleased with that third stanza. I think that in childhood, particular events can divide time–irrevocably split the past from the future. Quickly changing the subject, 😸 I’m guessing Irma was not too disruptive?

    • Irma was Cat 2 or less by the time she got to Tampa. Didn’t have to don my bike helmet or safety goggles. 🙂 Power didn’t even go off at my place. Feel very fortunate. But, boy the cleanup’s a pain! Tree debris everywhere. Could’ve been so much worse though. Thx for asking.

    • Good to hear, except for the cleanup of course. Makes me think about all the cleaning up we do of one kind or another. I don’t enjoy it either, but if I don’t, I know I’ll be punished. I’ll trip over things and never find the 10mm spanner or a pair of matching socks, or it might be cockroaches or strange wild creatures living in the yard, but one way or another nature will make me pay. 🙂

    • Thanks, it was fun writing this piece. 🙂 I have to say ‘tourist’ is Célia’s fault. I mean, she might be able to pilot a vessel in hyperspace, and she knows her way around an event horizon and the Schwarzschild radius, but these interstellar visitors wouldn’t know a noun from a neutrino. 😄 BTW, very much enjoy your site.

  2. ehehahahah Oh my hehhehe, Steve.
    You remind me of a child that has been cooped up indoors for a long time and you are on the brink of getting into trouble. Spring will come. You will walk out of doors and feel that summer sun bouncing off your cheeks. I do also predict that your wings will have new growth. They will all be fresh with beautiful colours all ready for you to walk the walk, talk the talk and strut your stuff like a newly born peacock. 🙂

    • Thank you, I’m looking forward to the summer sun and those wonderful wings. ☀️ Your comment about childhood is very perceptive, because when I was very young I spent a lot of time indoors with illness, and my wings were pages of books. Since then, I’ve been lucky enough to fly a little, and whatever my wings are made of now, I hope that will continue. 🙂

      I’ve already written the coming parts of “The Fifth Season,” (I wrote them in advance because of upcoming work commitments), and I have to say your thoughts are amazingly relevant to the third part. 🔮

    • I must show my ignorance right now. What is “The Fifth Season?”
      I also was gifted an image from something you said, of which I will draw out and send you. Your creative energy is inspiring many of us out here 🙂

    • Not ignorance, it’s impossible to know, one could only guess. The meaning will become clear in the third part of “The Fifth Season,” I hope. 🙂

      I am very intrigued and curious about your artwork. I don’t make my email address public on this blog (because I understand there is a risk of getting spam mail), however I’ve been planning to add a contact page which can be used for (private) communication in case this is useful. And thank you so much, it gives me great pleasure to know that I might inspire someone with my random words. 😀

  3. There are some really beautiful lines here. Winter’s ice… and then I feel like there are personal interjections that are wrenching by their appearance but then intentionally lose their significance in the action. Beautiful poem.

  4. The train can be fickle — picking up seasons in one hemisphere and dropping them off in others — til it reaches the personal sphere, when it becomes complete and utter chaos.

    • Ha ha, I’m pretty sure it seeds the clouds as well. The personal sphere is always chaos, the challenge is to pull some kind of vague sense out of it … 😃

  5. Pingback: the fifth season: eponymous | inconstant light

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