seekers of yesterday


on an evening in the soft infinity.

The sheeting rain outside
is a comfort and a warning
while I solder in a copper tangle:
connections from the future to the past,
with an insulating bypass round the present.

In the stormy world outdoors,
bright cascades of lightning challenge
my pretense, until a sudden surge and roar
redacts the copper to smoke and honey,
and a circuit breaker trips.

Before I find a candle,
an electrostatic glow precipitates,
and a human virtuality
with a crown of stray corona
suggests a rainy drive.

While I guide the rental vehicle
according to a sum of squares,
my electric passenger skims
a careless stranger’s diary
forgotten in the glove box.

Along the roads, each passing
thought is overtaken by another.

Loveless platelets flow through
veins of avenues,
while messengers tread
the broken footpaths.

Perhaps they started traveling
by accident or habit, but now
they want for nothing,
their destinations long forgotten.

In the city square,
the children of technology
are marching in their raincoats—
the seekers of their yesterdays.

For me, there’s not a drop of solace,
no consolation prize.

passenger side

I expected a perfect world—
Plato dancing mambo,
his percolated coffee
made of atoms of itself,
bonded by perceptual unity.

But here the skies and seas
are made of dust,
and in the ancient distance,
astigmatism recombines
the landscape into fallen
twilight columns.

This world is a mistake, nothing
can be done; it’s always been
too early and too late.

Would the finder of my diary
kindly contact me?

My passenger chats electrically.

The hope of every seeker of the past
is to open windows in the water panes,
and passing through,
relinquish knowledge,
find innocence again.

After I have gone, I’ll be sending postcards.
You may pretend that one’s for you.

One morning of the soft infinity,
a card comes in the mail,
blank and unaddressed.

Sum of squares: Euclidean Geometry, my favorite.
Corona: a partial electrical discharge at high voltages, often from sharp points.

water panes part above

29 thoughts on “seekers of yesterday

  1. I don’t know if it is my own mood or what, but this affected me: weather, melancholy, loneliness and seeking the past (to make sense of the present and even the future) are vibrant elements. Strange that I chose the word “vibrant” since I felt shades of blues and grays while your illustration is pastel. I guess I am reacting to the empty postcard. Although it is blank, it is still superior to a pretend one. Always some hope. Beautiful writing…

    • Thank you Clarissa, a pleasure to read your thoughts, which are very perceptive. This piece started with nostalgia for me: it was raining and I was suddenly back wiring up electric circuits, soldering, making tape recorders, guitar amplifiers and so on. Always bittersweet I guess. But I finished the post this morning, an hour or so ago, including the illustration and the last stanza. We oscillate, don’t we?

    • We sure do oscillate! Or our writing does because it tends to often write itself. Like the old Victorian automatic writers who went into trances while the spirits wrote 😀

  2. Like this a lot: the line ‘redacts the copper to smoke and honey,’ reminds me of my own failed attempts at soldering (only to join two wires on the bus of my old bmw motorbike) – nothing as grand as the future and the past. Plato doing the mambo is also a ripper – As always your writing rewards several readings and is strewn with wondrous intrigues.

    • Thank you, Peter. Turns out joining the future and the past isn’t as simple as you might think, although I have done a lot of soldering. One moment I recall extremely clearly is when the power cable pulled the iron off the table and I grabbed it a little too late, tightly by the wrong end. Smelt like a roast dinner.

    • Thank you Randy. Yeah, the side-by seemed to make sense with the two in the car; a bit of google, a bit of coding, and there it was. Glad you noticed the artwork. I suspect I’m a bit naïve with colors, also it’s a very personal thing, but I do like a particular apple green with a particular complimentary grape color. Admittedly I wouldn’t paint the walls that color. Mmm, wait on… 😜

  3. Boy, this one really got to me. For one, I’m driving a rental car at the moment. Am looking back a lot while getting over my lost love. And I’m thinking of sending the ex-love a card (blank and unaddressed as yet), sort of to wrap things up since it was such an abrupt disconnect. And it’s raining here. However it’s a rainy morning, not evening so I can only take the similarities so far. I love your plays on words, “not a drop of solace.” The “insulating bypass around the present.” “Human virtuality with a crown of stray of corona.” Not the beer I’m assuming… When I read good poetry it does seem that it’s written just for me. Egotistical of course, and yet not. Ya know? Beautiful, Steve. Suits my mood perfectly.

    • Wow, that is a lot of coincidence. I agree, not egotistical, it happens to me too, poetry and life, sometimes even with stuff I’ve written myself, which surely comes from my past, but I’ll see an echo in the present … Humans must be wired for that. Anyway I’m not suggesting you search through the glove compartment in your rental car. 😃

      Thank you BG, it’s fascinating to know about those connections.

      PS: No, not the beer 😃 … an electrical discharge. ⚡️

  4. It’s so easy to get completely lost in your poems. Not only is everything here beautifully imagined, but what startles me the most is how you inevitably stitch together the perfect sequences of words to express the imagined.

    • Thank you for those kind words. Lately I’ve been finding writing either very easy or very hard. Real life is interruptions and too much to focus on at once, but when I can find the mental place where I write, although I must be thinking, it doesn’t feel like work.

  5. I felt like I was in the passenger seat with you during this energizing drive. You have succeeded to discribe beautifully one of my most favourite type of weather, a rainstorm. If I were a very brave person I would love to be a storm chaser! I often watch them when I happen to be in the company of a t.v. I may go back to my housesit and write. no internet is kind of a mental to relieve for a bit of time that is. I look forward to your next creation 🙂

    • Thank you Tamaya. This piece started with a heavy downpour, a sudden thunderstorm that abruptly took hold of me and pulled me into the past. I love storms too, preferably seen through the windows of somewhere safe and dry. 😃 I’ve had some outdoor weather experiences that I wouldn’t want to repeat.

      I know what you mean about the internet–a blessing, and sometimes not. ☯️

  6. Your pieces always contain so much imagery and meaning that I read them at least twice or thrice to pick up different aspects each time. I liked the first stanza the most, with the rain being both comforting and ominous simultaneously, and your reference to soldering ‘in a copper tangle … with an insulating bypass round the present.’ What a brilliant idea to go for a rainy drive after the circuit breaker trips; it’s certainly more interesting than sitting in the dark, waiting for power to be restored. As for the ‘careless stranger’, I believe she (yes, I’m assuming it was a girl) left the diary in the rental car intentionally. I agree with her assertion that ‘the world is a mistake’, but unlike her, I think something can be done: learn from it (that’s what mistakes are for).

    • Thank you for your kind comments and reflections, Magarisa. I very much enjoy reading what others think, it’s a bit like a hall of mirrors. Or something. Where I lived in Brazil you really did have to get used to power failures, and high rise looks very different at night with only car headlight illumination. I agree we can learn … and we can decide our future path. (I’m pretty sure whether I have another coffee or not is not set in stone, at least from a human perspective.) However, as a specialist in mistakes, I’ve noticed that sometimes they can be corrected and sometimes there’s no backspace key. Mmm, need a poetic version: “The moving finger writes; and, having writ,/moves on.” (Omar Khayyám)

    • You’re welcome, Steve. I enjoy reading writing that is very different from my own. Would that be the opposite of a hall of mirrors? I didn’t know that Brazil had such frequent power outages. I lived in Argentina for a while, but can’t remember experiencing any. I find high-rises to be awe-inspiring and extremely ugly at the same time. (I also don’t think your decision to have another coffee or not is set in stone; perhaps every single possibility exists in a parallel universe? Such unoriginal thought on my part, I know.) Yes, sometimes there’s no backspace to correct mistakes … that’s when you find a typo in a comment you left on someone else’s blog. 😁

    • Yes, not a great analogy, but I can probably make it worse. We read a piece and our comments are reflections of it seen through our eyes. That we’re all different is what makes it interesting, and replies in the comment hall are reflections of reflections.

      I haven’t been back to Braz for quite a while so might be better now. In one place, São José dos Campos, tropical thunderstorms would cause power failures and the phones would ring with the lightning strikes. I never answered because I didn’t want to speak with Zeus.⚡️

      I’m good with parallel universes. I guessing ours is one where nothing makes any sense.😃

    • Bravo for making a not-so-great analogy (according to you) worse. 😁 Reflections of reflections of reflections are like copies of copies of copies, no? That reminds me of the Asgards on Stargate, whose race was degenerating exponentially from over-cloning.
      Lightning strikes causing phones to ring … what a funny phenomenon. Good call (pun intended) on your part not to answer them.
      I’m reasonably certain that in certain parallel universes, I’m good at grasping the concept of parallel universes. If parallel universes cover all possibilities, I suppose they also include those where we’re all each other. Oh wait, we ARE all each other already.

    • Haha. It’s true, sometimes reflections can degenerate (go Stargate) but here thoughts trigger connections, new thoughts. Fascinating in a way, also a little like a whisper circle where the original is eventually transformed and lost.

      Yes, I think we’re more similar than we are different, Buddhist interbeing. I also try to remember that with blogs, the audience isn’t random, they relate to the blog, and in the case of the arts, that probably means there’s some commonality there. Which reminds me, time to stop with the Pinot and write something for this week. 😃

    • Ah yes, new associations help us form new neural connections, and the more of these connections we have, the less likely we’ll suffer from dementia. That’s just an assumption on my part. Is ‘whisper circle’ the politically correct phrase replacing ‘Chinese whispers’? (Just kidding.)
      No, the audience of a blog is certainly not random. Pinot? I prefer the pre-fermented kind (fresh grape juice). Writing for this week? Don’t see nothing new.

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  8. splendid poem. i really liked the lines

    “while I solder in a copper tangle”
    and the ending stanza
    “After I have gone, I’ll be sending postcards.
    You may pretend that one’s for you.

    One morning of the soft infinity,
    a card comes in the mail,
    blank and unaddressed.”

    fantastic work, keep’em coming.

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