homo sapiens beta 4: intermediate lights


Proteus, the Jurassic beta-release human, has met a luminous creature on a headland overlooking the world’s ocean. The being understands his speech, which is glowing shapes rather than sounds. Part One is here.

The stranger introduced herself to Proteus.

I’ve named myself Evita,
and you’re the conduit of my creation.
Not your ribs, but your intangible phrases
that weave the darkness
with their phosphorescent trails.

Between the near and far,
they reconnected, coalesced,
and here I am.

Proteus was quintessentially humble,
but because he couldn’t count as high
as quintessential,
and because he thought that he alone
had created the glorious Evita,
he chose to elaborate
his personal achievements.

…the fish were simply flapping there,
although one was slightly nibbled on the tail,
and I deduced that they were four
in number…

…and not a trilobite in the pool,
because they became extinct
at the end of the Paleozoic,
so finally I could count from zero
all the way to four…

…the diplodocuses charged,
and as I fled between the cycads,
I enumerated their legs:
an indeterminate number,
and dividing by four,
I ascertained the object-oriented tally,
another indeterminate number.
I call this “computing.”

Evita professed an unexpected interest
in the natural numbers.

Fascinante. Please,
tell me more about two.

Proteus was mesmerised
by the glitter of his own words
reflected in Evita’s eyes.
On he went, sprinkling
his numerical ascent in powers of two
with exaggerations,
and he paid no heed
when Archie, the archaeopteryx,
swooped out of the night
to fly around his head in urgent circles.

He didn’t know, and neither did I,
that the pseudo-bird
was trying to warn him
of an imminent inconvenience.

to continue

Archie, the archaeopteryx

beneath the carboniferous sky  (detail ×2 above). Made by VEE, the visual evolution engine.

34 thoughts on “homo sapiens beta 4: intermediate lights

  1. I have to admit Steve that I get kidnapped by your descriptive phrases like,
    ‘ weave the darkness
    with their phosphorescent trails.’ etc. They are so full of imagery I could go on and on.
    love it.
    Your images are spectacular truly full of fantasy and out of world. oh that mind ay? hehehhe

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hope you don’t get lost in the Jurassic, although I’m pretty sure it wasn’t quite the way I suggested. 😸 I suppose that’s what fantasy is all about, although really when you see what they can do with movies these days, it’s definitely hard to compete. I guess it depends on the imagination of the reader, and I’m quite sure you have a powerful and vivid imagination. Thank you, Tamaya.


  2. Aha! So Evita IS made up of Proteus’s ‘speech shapes’. I’m guessing that his fixation upon the glitter of his own words will lead to his downfall, just as Narcissus’s obsession with his own reflection brought about his demise.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. The idea of speech in glowing shapes rather than sounds, that weave the darkness is such exciting imagery and I find magarisa’s comments very interesting. You’ve done it again Steve, an utterly unique poetical experience. The picture too is lovely. Wonderful!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you x2, Margaret. I have no idea where the luminous speech came from initially. Although there are biblical analogies, it wasn’t that. Actually, now I think about it, I have a friend with synesthesia who sees words as colors. That’s probably it. There’s a reason for everything. 😸

      PS: I just replied to Magarisa about my habit of punishing characters for their wrongdoings.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Maybe? To tell the truth, I basically knew what was going to happen next when I wrote 4, but I haven’t put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard yet.

    Thanks, Sobhana, and for highlighting that, I was pleased with it. Sometimes you know the words you want are somewhere in the “cloud” 😸 and you have to take a short break so they can materialize.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. That’s funny! Proteus is in good company. Most of us do love an admiring audience, admit it or not. Looks like Proteus is about to get “inconvenienced” for his insouciance. Guess we’ll have to wait and see how badly!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Insouciance, that’s a great word BG. And I agree, we do. Unfortunately sometimes it’s just the listener’s politeness, and we need to know when to stop. I do anyway. Fortunately with my family, there’s no problem—they let me know after the first word or two.

      Hopefully, I’ll have something for tomorrow. I can’t believe it’s already Friday.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Definitely, I love the natural numbers. Changing the subject to my own romantic interest, i.e. computing, 🤓 I wonder how two is doing in relation to ten, i.e., binary computation versus human fingers. There are so many cpus around, I’d guess the total is greater than the human population in some countries.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. hahaha
    Such a great post, all round!
    And I always love the comments.

    (Hope you haven’t spontaneously combusted in recent heat, although I confess I haven’t checked to see what the temps were in the Sydney area. I am pretty sure it got to 50 where we are.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad you enjoyed, Vanessa. Wow, 50 is off the scale, must have been tough. Hasn’t been that high here, at least around where I live. Mind you, I would call over 30 hot.

      I’ve been fortunate with spontaneous combustion so far, unless you count hair. In the good old days when it was all cigarettes and flammable brightly coloured hair spray, I had the odd issue, but in any case that wasn’t really spontaneous combustion, more spontaneous stupidity.

      Liked by 1 person

      • We’ve been here in the SA Riverland for 13 years now, and it gets insanely hot. I was glad it wasn’t windy as that happens often too in the spring and summer.
        And A/C… how on earth did the pioneers do it?!

        Wow Steve, I’d love to know more. That could surely inspire a magnificent art piece 😁

        Liked by 1 person

        • We have become soft in this modern age, I’m pretty sure I would have problems spearing a woolly mammoth as well.

          Some Buddhist teacher or other said, “You should meditate like your hair is on fire.” But they all shave their heads, so what would he know?

          Liked by 1 person

        • Indeed we have. I have become soft since I lived in the States. I got used to all kinds of air conditioning all over the place. As well as other conveniences. It was quite harrowing moving to regional Australia after that. But quite an adventure lol. But I am only in my 40s and I already say, geez, when I was a kid we didn’t have air conditioning in our little wooden class rooms yadda yadda…although we didn’t walk uphill 100 miles both ways…

          hahaha I want to respond to that but I am laughing too hard

          Liked by 1 person

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