the rewound world

reductio ad absurdum

Oh Deija, if you ever were, if you ever were right now,
would my words mean anything? I cannot speak
your mother tongue:
the language of the undimensioned realms,
your modality of erasure,
from a time when words were silent.

Once, nearby, and long before, there were corners
where the dust met beams of light.
When thoughts were more than ululations,
when sunroads ran ahead in charms and spangles,
when the winds that combed the forest’s hair
were still invisible.


The demolition of the earth, it came and went,
and I found employment as a landscape gardener,
painting scissors purple and planting them in furrows—
consolation for the homesick Martians.

Soon enough, the capricious blue invaders
lost interest in our planet, decided Venus
might be worth a go.

Now I travel through the future’s barrens,
where even the horizon’s shimmer
can’t remember water, and where
the wind-torn atmosphere, spinning
free through nights and days,
no longer cares for planetary rotation.

I don’t remember how I came to be here,
but I know I’ve left myself behind, and that
I’m a failure of my own imagination.


In the lining of a pocket, I come across a note—

Care instructions: wash in cold water, do not spin dry.

and in another, paper, and a broken crayon.

to continue

Deija Thoris, Martian legend.

lost atmosphere (part above). Made by VEE, the visual evolution engine.

A new project starting with Paul Sutton, instagram’s impermanent secretary, who, with his x-ray vision superpower, observes and captures what mere mortals miss. Here is a captivating example at tumblr.

32 thoughts on “the rewound world

  1. This is anything but a failure of imagination, Steve! I love the tug-o-war between the past and the future and how beautifully you have crafted the feeling many feel from time to time – “I don’t remember how I came to be here, but I know I’ve left myself behind”…

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Sobhana. I’d say that, as we grow up and through our lives, we imagine who we might become. I know that, for me, there were limitations to who I could imagine myself being. It depends on what experiences we’ve had.

      So the line you referred to kind of connects with that—when we are no longer who we imagined we were or would be (not necessarily better or worse, just different).

      Liked by 1 person

  2. So good Steve – ‘when sunroads ran ahead in charms and spangles,’ is just one of my favourite lines (there are about 28 others). Thanks also for link to Paul Sutton’s work – fantastic light illuminating quotidian scenes.

    Liked by 2 people

    • My pleasure, and thank you so much. I started out intending to write a short introduction and then move on to a sci-fi narrative set in a distant future, but it finished up being all intro.


  3. It has already been said Steve. You are the finest and most original poet. ‘From a time when words were silent’ and where dust meets beams of light. Oh yes, and I love ‘the painting of scissors purple and planting them in furrows’. The art work is beautiful. Thank you for such an enjoyable read. My work pales into insignificance, but I keep going as do most poets, for the love of it. Why else?

    Liked by 2 people

    • You are very generous, Margaret. Knowing that people enjoy my work keeps me writing, even though I can only manage once a fortnight.

      I think that, in a sense, we write ourselves. my work is how it is because of my life and my experiences, and the same with yours. Yes, we have to enjoy the writing, but we make it public on WordPress so that others can get something from it. And they do: that applies to both of us.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Such melancholy and longing in this piece. I especially like the bittersweet tone of the following passage:
    “Now I travel through the future’s barrens,
    where even the horizon’s shimmer
    can’t remember water, and where
    the wind-torn atmosphere, spinning
    free through nights and days,
    no longer cares for planetary rotation.”

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you, Jim. I am hoping that reports of the death of the world are premature, although I’m not sure I would miss it.

      I am way behind with WordPress, sorry, and my dream of catching up is also lost in the Nullarbor.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. How generous, to plant those painted scissors.
    I love your serious playfulness.
    And I used to always carry random crayons in my purse, I never knew when I might need one.
    I had actually forgotten that until now. Thanks for the reminder of what is important.
    And thanks for the links to Paul’s work…how beautiful!
    (really like the artwork once again!)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Multiple thank you’s, Vanessa. No doubt crayons would be handy for walls and tablecloths. I’ve never really carried around anything sensible in my briefcase, generally just random accumulated rubbish. Thanks to the new age, the rubbish is all on a phone and a computer now.

      Apparently I’m falling off the edge of WordPress. Perhaps it is like the earth, and I will come out on the other side.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Hey Steve! Now that is quite an image, I’m curious what that would entail, exactly…
        Sigh, I think I am going through some kind of social media existential crisis…I watched another documentary on FB and it all just seems so monstrous.
        Please keep me posted sometime on what the other side of WordPress might look like *nervous laugh

        Liked by 2 people

        • Oh look at me, I’m almost only two weeks behind with comments. I think I deserve a piece of cake, which I happen to have.

          The other side of WordPress was uneventful — a three-headed serpent tried to roast me and Darth Vader attempted to laser my head off. I vacillate between social media is pointless and social media is the ant’s pants.

          I do have an opinion about mega Internet corporations (Amazon, Facebook, Google etc). They operate, not by doing the right thing, but by automation with minimal human intervention. Morality is irrelevant and only appears for publicity and income purposes when there is outside pressure.

          Liked by 2 people

        • You absolutely do deserve a piece of cake. Only two weeks is pretty good.

          Wow Steve, this is all too relatable. Well, except your experience on the other side…how did you stop yourself from just falling asleep from boredom? Or wait, do I mean panic?

          Liked by 1 person

        • Steve, I never dreamed for a moment that your life would be boring! I was musing on the “a three-headed serpent tried to roast me and Darth Vader attempted to laser my head off” which made me laugh out loud!

          Well, you don’t make a mess of blogging, so you can scratch that off your list 😝

          Bahahaha. I’m currently eating chocolate which definitely does not have stevia in it.

          Liked by 2 people

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