the fifth season: eponymous


This is the third part. Tenuously connected first and second parts are stored as data on a server.

A pointless unnamed human
was locked in stasis by Célia,
an interstellar traveler
who has a name.

A week and forty years pass by
in a single line of text.

The stasis ends, and one apartment block
still stands on planet earth.

All around a glassy plane, vitrified
by a nuclear potter,
reflects a reddish light,
and the sky is bleeding sunset’s colors
at every compass point.

In their apartments, occupiers
awaken from a dream—
an invisible prince
and post-apocalyptic kisses.

They gaze outside, beyond their window frames,
and turn away,
choose blank screens hanging on the walls,
press some buttons while they wait
for bars to wake on mobile phones,
for salvation or an ending.

The final season has arrived.


The nameless one goes down the stairs
to where the ceaseless westerlies
are blowing, stirring up the dust
of civilization’s powdered marrow.

With balsa wings and roller blades
strapped on,
he sweeps like a sail before the wind,
eight years old again, made whole again.


Kilometric hours
go flying by,
and still he skates,
until a sudden burst of fireworks
showers from above,
and a curdled light descends.

It might have been a stranger,
but it’s Célia.

So tell me,
how’s it hanging?

Now your planet’s
an unlivable hell.

I wouldn’t say ‘no’ to a coffee.

There’s coffee on the crayfish moon,
in cafés by the shore.
You might travel 
in the luggage rack
of my photon cruiser, but first
I have a question:

Will you listen closely to my
interspecies tales

Of course.

You’ve forgotten my holistic vision.
I can see your fingers
crossed behind your back.

To be continued. Whoopsie, the poem and the world were supposed to end. But only the latter did. A latter used to live in a burrow in my backyard.

balsa wings background
Repeating a comment from two weeks ago, I spent a lot of time indoors because of illness when I was very young. Fortunately I recovered, but back then my wings were pages of books. Tamaya Garner has created that little boy’s dreams and kindly made her work available. Here is more of her impressive artwork and writing, and here is the dream of pages:


I added a direct contact link for myself and the wood ducks in the right-hand menu, for no particular reason. Perhaps someone wants advice on magnetohydrodynamics or what to do if their photon cruiser has a flat tire. If you’re using your phone there is no link on the right—that’s “reality” on the right of your phone, hopefully a cup of coffee.

the final season abstract pastoral (detail above): a frozen, poisonous, and unnatural season that will not appear on many pizzas.

44 thoughts on “the fifth season: eponymous

    • Hahaha, ☕️ yes, International Coffee Day should be renamed Intergalactic Coffee Day. If you believe fiction, aliens are mostly like us, and we can relate to them. But let me add, go ‘Arrival,’ a great movie. 👽

    • Popular culture likes to present aliens as English-speaking humanoids, so why wouldn’t they also like coffee? 😁 I saw the movie Arrival some time ago – fascinating!

    • Absolutely, and I’ve heard a rumor that in the furthest reaches of the universe, beyond the boundary of known space, a mythical alien race of tea drinkers exists. 😂

      ‘Arrival’ has a connection with time travel, which is part of its fascination for me. 🙂

    • Rumours travel faster than the speed of light! 😁
      I’m also a fan of time travel movies. The language/communication part of ‘Arrival’ interested me the most.

  1. Can’t wait for the continuation Steve. Still, friday where I am. I have seen Arrival and agree its wonderful.
    I even cried, I don’t know why. Heard today that some big wig is building a rocket ship to bring 150 people to Mars. Why?
    Maybe they have coffee?
    Thank you for including my drawing, your sweet.

    • Sage advice, Frank. 🙂 Truth and lies, fiction and fact, forgiveness. I know they’re important, but I can’t find a clear explanation anywhere, not even in the CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics. 🤓

    • Glad you enjoyed it all Vanessa. When something bad has happened, oh I don’t know, like the earth has been destroyed, I suspect I subconsciously try to sweeten the bitter pill. 🐒 (A small part of the Amazon survived, by the way.) 🐒🐒

    • I’m sorry Steve, I was due for a cup of coffee…I should explain…your explanations made me laugh, your stories are always creative, and I meant I thought Tamaya’s illustration was lovely…I laughed out loud when I realised how that reads referring to your piece like that, I’m sorry. (I always love your art, btw).
      And yes, I am sure that is true, about sweetening the bitter pill…I always sense that, it is hard for me to ever feel too serious when I am reading your work. I hope that is okay. And I am so glad about the Amazon! 💚

    • Thanks, all good, Vanessa, that’s what I suspected but didn’t want to assume. It’s all absolutely fine with me, and I’m glad to hear it. We have to deal with the real world, and writing gives me a break as well.

      About the Amazon, my pleasure, and it would be even better to save the real one. 🐒

      Now I’m going to violate causality and risk irreparable damage to the space-time continuum by changing an earlier reply to Tamaya so that she knows to read the comments when it’s today for her. ⌚️ Hope that makes sense. 😁

    • Thank you, Vanessa. The drawing was inspired by Steve’s words so I had to send it to him. He is a poetic visionary. Being a visual artist I automatically transpose most things I see, hear and read, this does get me in trouble occasionally hehe. I always read Steve’s poems two or three times to fully grasp all that he puts in. They are a field day to read 🙂

    • Hi! I agree with you. His work is amazing!! Impossible to only read once. And it’s lovely to see an important part of his childhood illustrated by you! Oh the connective power of WP 🙂

    • I’m a little bit lost with internet etiquette here. I feel like I’m overhearing another conversation, not to mention being bright red, 😳 but the conversation made me realize something: how important our backgrounds are.

      The boy’s wings are very special–amazing–but with my science and engineering, I could never ever have imagined them, and that’s because, although *visually* they are wonderful magical wings, *technically* they aren’t wings at all. I just don’t think in that way. For me, it’s equations and computer code. 🤓 Mostly. 😸

    • I was about to add a PS joking about us talking about you…don’t mind us, please jump in at any time, but I got distracted. Maybe this would be appropriate

  2. I must not read your creations while half asleep 🙂 I missed so much.
    Completly love “the sky is bleeding sunset colours” I may end up stealing this upon occasion so I apologize now hehe. If you could only see the Fogo Island skies.
    They gaze outside, beyond their window frames,
    and turn away,
    choose blank screens hanging on the walls,
    press some buttons while they wait
    for bars to wake on mobile phones,
    for salvation or an ending.

    This is bang on for most of the world is it not. You do know how to capture our world and its aliens.

    • Another day for me with coffee. ☕️ Tamaya, you cannot steal what is freely given. 😀

      Yes, I do know a little about the world of the city, the land indoors. 😸 I’ve visited a special place in the Osaka underground many times. It was intended to be a metro station with shopping, but the plan was changed. Now it’s a vast empty subterranean hall with nothing but support columns, and hardly a soul passes through. It isn’t your beautiful Fogo Island, but it has its own dark fascination. ☯️

    • sounds very interesting. any chance of you having your photo/phone with you next time you visit. I would love to see those support columns. One thing I have always loved was the cement overflow rivers that they have in Arizona. I have this memory as a child in Trieste where we would all slide down these cement rivers [ what I call them], we all loved it but our parents did not for we would wear out the soles of our shoes and underpants hehe.

    • I have some some bad photos somewhere. The catch is they don’t show the atmosphere of the place: underground at the end of a long narrow corridor, as if humanity has gone and left the place behind as a monument. I’ll dig them out some time and see what I can do with them. Never seen a cement river, sounds like fun, maybe with some sort of board like the ones they use on grassy slopes. 🙂

  3. blush away Steve eheheh you earned it ehhe
    So you’re in a world of calculations but you thrive in this world of poetic lines. I may come down to yin and yan.
    I don’t know you in the normal sense but I do get the feeling that you are still that man with wings of your imagination. Your interstellar explorations are very strong. Have you seen Birdman with Michael Keaton? Brilliant movie. I have watched it twice and today may be the third. Its brisk today so I might just crawl into my nest of feathers with dvd and tea. 🙂

    • Thanks Tamaya. Yes, yin and yan, curious, I just mentioned that. 🙂 There’s a lot of repeating cause and effect though life: my work in the laboratory, in nuclear fusion and other fields, was shaped by my childhood imagination–all that might be possible–and that has led, in part, to inconstant light.

      I haven’t seen Birdman unfortunately, I’ll have to watch it. A pleasant morning here, although we need some rain. 🙂

  4. I’ve been reading all the comments and am way over my head! All I know is I recognize magic when I feel it even if I can’t explain it. That “nameless one” going down the stairs speaks to my insides. And I love the little feet on that “book bird.”

    • Thank you BG, magic is great.

      Me too, I have no idea. 😜 I know what has to happen when I write it down, but I don’t try self-analysis; I’d be really disappointed if I found out my thoughts weren’t subspace transmissions from aliens. 🙂 I like the feet as well.

      PS: Tamaya replied in the comments below

  5. This is what I love about Steve’s poetry and his ability to take us all with him. The dialogues with him and his followers have a feeling of an ongoing play. I can see this on stage, can’t you Steve?
    Dark stage with typewriter clicking away.
    Steven writing his poem and reading it out loud for the audience. Next, you have a spot starting off dim and growing as the first follower is typing his comment and the dialogue starts. This continues with more and more followers typing their comments and Steven replying.
    I can see it! Can you? ehehhehh sorry I have gone too far again. :/
    I tell you it could be a hit.

    • Nothing to be sorry about, it would definitely be novel. The framework might work with a dramatic story told in the comments. And exploding typewriters. 😀 I also see someone peering out across the audience. They are in the front row–the wood ducks. 🦆🦆🦆

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