It's About Time
Fiction. Time travel poetry. Bear with me.
I’ve been doing this blog for three years now. Though there have been dark times, and bizarre times, and some particularly weird stuff about a hypothetical Hunger Games in my local Westfield, I had not yet stooped to poetry.
Unfortunately for all of us, one morning a few months ago I woke up with a fully formed stanza in my brain (the second stanza in the below, if you’re wondering). I don’t know where it came from—and I’d just like to say for the record that I’m not happy about the dream poetry in any way—but I felt some obligation to my subconscious to try and flesh it out.
What follows is my first and last poem.
It steals more than just the rhyming scheme from Banjo Patterson’s Clancy of the Overflow. Please ignore the lines between stanzas, it’s the only way I could work out Substack’s kooky formatting.
(Somewhat) normal stories will return soon, maybe.
I am writing you this letter, though perhaps I should know better,
From a bizarre and broken back street off the avenues of time.
Since that first almighty crack I have carved a wondrous track!
But you will still be standing in that laboratory of mine.
I hope you weren’t much damaged by the miracle I managed,
As the gamma rays came pouring out in volatile burps—
When the console started smoking you must have thought that I was joking!
But flash bang zoop—you saw I’m sure—my Time Machine! It works!
With space-time all but shattered it was only I that mattered,
And I sunk into that nowhere place where time flows like a stream.
So much power now commanded! Thoughts of you were gone, abandoned!
As I journeyed through that limbo space, all gold and like a dream.
I big banged at the beginning, with the galaxy still spinning,
To see amoeba wriggle up towards the beaming of the light,
And I saw the vision splendid of new wondrous worlds extended,
Then dinosaurs, exploding suns, and Dyson Sphere delight.
Slammed down a spaceship throttle, did some maths with Aristotle,
Boarded boats that blasted off into the infinite unknown.
Though forever incandescent—which I was while omni-present—
The bright of everywhen and where soon spot-lit how I was alone.
Since my miraculous disaster I have thought of you, my partner,
In Xanadu and Kakadu and every spectacle between.
In your future I discover how much I will make you suffer
When I leave to go and gallivant in my hideous Machine.
And despite all my atonement I can never share the moment
When I left you bathed in gamma rays and vanished beyond time.
My Machine though perfect otherwise crushed one too many butterflies,
All while you’ve been standing in that laboratory of mine.
Space and time have caught me cheating and have seen to my deleting,
Purging my intrusions, removing everywhere I’ve been.
So my chaos can be ordered, I am being hunted, cornered,
Soon trapped forever in that nowhere place: the void that is between.
I have flirted with volcanoes, danced on otherworldly rainbows,
But nowhere have I seen two eyes as brilliantly blue.
Though dangerous this letter was I risk my everything because
No matter where or when I go, all I ever want is you.
My paradox: untenable. My solution: no less terrible.
I ask for you to join me in this hell of mine. Detached.
The path to me is very clear, you only have to engineer
Another cursed Time Machine. My instructions are attached.
Hi! Thanks for reading this very strange poem. If you liked it please hit the heart icon at the top of the email, or send it to a person who you think might also like it. If you haven’t already, check out These Stories Are Not Real wherever you get your podcasts.