Proteus, the prototype human, lived in Gondwanaland with selected Jurassic creatures. Instead of audible words, glowing shapes emanated from his mouth whenever he tried to talk. Part one is here.
If I could only speak,
engage in conversation
with anyone at all,
I’d be sage and silent.
Archie, the archaeopteryx
that Proteus addressed,
ignored the paper lantern lights
floating from his mouth.
I wouldn’t babble, spout
immaterial lunar permutations
concerning plausible fish,
or the iridescent creature
I recently remarked on the headland
by the ironsand beach.
My shadow biographer sets a fine example:
he’d never discuss Inconstant Street Park,
its dogs, their to-and-fro, the owners
and the owned, in and out of phase,
or the stray that follows him around,
his doppelgänger from the primeval void.
Always right on point, the both of us.
But come to think of it,
what was that unusual lifeform?
It shone so brightly by the sea,
like a house with a light inside.*
Proteus returned to the headland
with Archie perched upon his head,
and sought out the glowing being.
Archie swooped around the stranger,
no doubt hoping he could snip a tasty moth
attracted by the light,
and Proteus emitted
a little visual conversation.
I hear the tygers
will burn symmetrically
in the jungle tonight.
if I’m not mistaken.
Proteus was astounded.
The creature had understood him
and replied acoustically.
*half-hearted attempt to avoid anachronisms
Icarus please come home (part above). Made from the sun and clouds by VEE, the visual evolution engine. VEE and TIM (EEG, the illustrated mind) artworks are now at Artxio, a global online art market based in Sydney.