the quiet hours

The rain was running late, still pattering
on the muddy puddles of the city sky,
and the street was smeared with cloud
star-ridden with mercury lamps—
a world as dreary as long-lost
infatuation, as a friend’s anger,
as empty jealousy.

Like a moth attracted
to the flickers of fluorescent lights,
I chose a frayed café where
my dairy-whitened instant coffee
with artificial sweetener
—all its chemical delights—
put me in the writing mood.

log-periodic antennas

I’d like to drive until the road runs out,
to lazy gum trees in hazy landscapes,
to where time’s tucked away
to tick in hidden hollows.

But the rooftop garden’s all I have,
its palms in pale pots,
its log-periodic dipole arrays
bowing to Babel’s towers—
their seductive transmissions.

In a scene set for the Martians, I inhale
the pristine breath of winter.
In its whiteness, wrongness
turns to sparking scintillations,
refracted into misty haloes.

And if they’re constructs
of my failing eyesight,
I don’t mind at all.

heartbeats

We who cannot hear our heartbeats,
who have no grandiose story,
who cannot comprehend
the invisible project
on its march
from the barrens of the past
to the wastelands of the future,
we fear the moment
when the credits start to roll,
when goodbyes have begun,
when the television
peters
out,
because the unembellished truth
awaits us in the quiet hours.

the love apple

For what never was, we cannot feel nostalgia,
yet I yearn for wistful dreams of long ago.

“You’ve partaken of the love apple.”
(My plaintive inner voice.)
“And you’re handy with household wiring.”

My outer voice recites my virtues
to the stove and the refrigerator,
but the me who speaks knows very little.

My undermind’s in charge
through the quiet hours,
while my overmind
is seeking distant planets.

In that interstellar gloom,
I fear that I will never
be taken seriously.


artwork
The Quiet Hours, NikonD90 photo evolved by the visual evo engine, my software that seeks unimagined realms.  8K original image = 4 UHD screens, from the ultracubist engine. Art on Instagram four days per week.

purpose of reality
The Purpose of Reality short story and poetry volumes are now available for preorder at Meerkat Press. They come with bonus digital artwork. Here is the link.

11 thoughts on “the quiet hours

  1. Your poem is wonderful, it puts my feeble efforts to shame. Very well done Steve, I love your poem it is the best I’ve seen of your work

  2. Lot’s to like – the log-periodic antennas is great imagining, a time when the television / peters/ out also. Congrats on the publications – I’m following that link as I type…

  3. Another beautiful piece….The truth – “…because the unembellished truth
    awaits us in the quiet hours.”

    • Thank you, glad you enjoyed. 🙏 The truth is what it is, pleasing or not. You are showing as anonymous. Perhaps you are a superhero with a secret identity.😸

    • Beautifully written and evocative work. I like your new pared down style, Steve. It’s quietly powerful and very relatable. So many wonderful images it’s hard to choose my favourite line but perhaps this …

      I’d like to drive until the road runs out,
      to lazy gum trees in hazy landscapes,
      to where time’s tucked away
      to tick in hidden hollows.

    • Thank you for your kind words, Nikita and Paul. 🙏🙏 The piece is unusual because it’s personal, it doesn’t even qualify as speculative fiction (fantasy or scifi). Personal revelations are hard for me, perhaps this explains some of the aspects you mentioned. There’s going to be more spec fic though, I need it.😸

  4. Perhaps it’s to be expected of those of us without a grandiose story to yearn for wistful dreams from long ago and long for memories of past events that never happened, in order to feel “justifiably” nostalgic.

    Really enjoyed this piece, Steve.

Leave a Reply