time’s machine

In a pendant past, still waiting
to become, my dreams were ever
wandering in a lifeless land:
the high night of suburbia,
where the homes were anthracite  
compressed from smoke,
and the streets all ran with bitumen,
flowing over aeons to Nocturnia.

All around us, chorused words
are twittering to hide the truth.
They reverberate, we revere,
and the distant tumults merge,
become a motor humming,
its axle turning, chaos cycling.


In my youth, the past was unavoidable:
a static dream, never to be erased,
loops and curls of the moving pen.

A motor spins inside my head.
Back then, its purpose was unknowable,
its axle was invisible,
and the meaning of its turning
was a mystery.

But I know better now.
I hear the echoes of the great machine,
the one that turns the universe,
the precession of a gyroscope
that carries us through realities.

All the world and all its history drifts,
our memories follow suit,
and the past that truly was
is lost.

No electric lighthouse on the shore,
no pebbled path to follow
beside time’s flow,
and no bridge
that eternal river.

to continue


The wonderful Time Machine of HG Wells, with its crystal lever, is a different device, designed for personal time travel.

Savk Everstone: a song about time, and other things


The Bridge (don’t know why I called it that) has a before/after slider. The original image is a composite with a little of Mars from the NASA Rover. The slider shows the work of the visual evolution engine, my software that seeks unimagined realms. I don’t let it go out of the house unless it’s accompanied by a responsible adult. Obviously.

The figures, evolved separately, were created with ALISA, adaptive layered image automation.


17 thoughts on “time’s machine

    • Thank you, Nikita, I value the feedback.🙏 This piece is made from personal experiences, including a recurring dream. At times I have wanted to change my past: childhood events. But with a little consideration, there is much that I treasure, happy memories, and who knows who I would be if just one thing were changed?

  1. I agree with Nikita, Steve, this may be one of your best and that is saying something. I love that reversal, the smoke returning to anthracite, bitumen running in the streets (I did a research project once on smokeless fuel, it involved peat and anthracite!). So much in this one and such scope!

    • I’m very grateful for the feedback, Jim. Interesting about the smokeless fuel, I worked on MHD power generation from coal for quite a while. (If anyone mentions anthracite there must be a reason. 😸)

      My fascination with time and time travel started long ago, I wrote a piece for the school magazine. Now I know the reason: a desire to change the past. That’s gone, but the scientific curiosity remains. I’m still working on the direction of time, and I hope to self-publish something next year.

    • Once you’ve experienced anthracite, no other coal will do! Just catching up here, Steve, time slowed down for a while, good luck with your time piece…JIM

  2. love this you have added a new dimension to my favourite topic, time, in all its beautiful essence, still elusive, still mocking me – a magnificent read, I really enjoyed this.

    • Thank you, Gina. I too have been fascinated with time for as long as I can remember. We live inside it, it’s all around us, and the idea of seeing beyond it is alluring, whether it’s possible or not. I hope that you and yours are well in this uncertain world we find ourselves in.

    • one day maybe we will break that invisible barrier or it becomes tangible. All doing well here, as well as the current situation allows us to be. hoping things get back to normal soon for our country, feels like we have been fighting this forever. Likewise, I hope you are keeping well and healthy on your side of the globe. Good to read your words Steve. Take care.

  3. Enjoyed reading this several times. The multiple references to the past are (were) particularly interesting. Is it static? Is it ever lost? Or does past, present and future all exist simultaneously, but only our perception tells us otherwise? I read Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut recently; for the protagonist, the arrow of time points both ways, so he and everyone else never die permanently.

    • Thank you, Magarisa. I’ve been researching the arrow of time for many years, but whether I get my book out in 2022 is uncertain. I think that physicists and non-physicists have a lot of misconceptions about time, but I won’t go into detail because you’ll fall asleep. 😸

      I read Slaughterhouse 5 long ago, I was a fan way back when. I don’t remember much, but what I can say is that every film or book that I know of, with any form of time travel, is inconsistent and can’t happen. (I have a shelf-full of TT books by the way.) Of course, going to the future is fine, we’re doing that all the time. Whoops, I wrote too much. 🙀

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