Tag Archives: time travel

Excursion Back Through Time

Excursion Back Through Time

A fossilized meteor shower
I study through my lens.
A rainbow splash from a comet crash
provides data, a case of chance ancient art.
Put my foot down on the pedal
for my excursion back through time to start.
This insect splayed on a stone
is the ancestor of the spider
or could it be a crab?
Such questions prove that geology
is really far from drab.
My heart would harp,
my soul would sing,
if I found the crown
of an Atlantean king.
Miracles and visions,
you cannot rely on them.
If you want to wear the garment,
you must sew the hem.
First forest I glimpse in my glass.
Horned beasts with hard claws
sniff through tree and grass,
all free of the hunter.
Now the prism flickers with colours,
prepares to open its doors.
Wonder what will be revealed,
what time thought better kept sealed?

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A Past and Future Memoir

A Past and Future Memoir

Time travel is to leave now, what is,
go back to then, what was,
forth to hence, what will be.
Impossible then, thought he.
Paced his kitchen, like a nervous hen,
mulled over his plan once again.
Still, there was the experiment.
He could try.
At least his time machine
needed no wheels to move, wings to fly.
In his backyard, his strange contraption stood,
a high backed chair enthroned
in a mesh of metal, wire and wood.
Twelve old alarm clocks, second hand bought,
ticked different times among light bulbs,
levers and buttons on the control panel
he most originally wrought.
In the dull late afternoon, he sat in the chair,
pressed the green button to go.
Only the birds in the bush saw him vanish.
No one was to know he was not there.
Came back the day before he left,
so he could not prove he had been away.
He had acted adventurous and brave,
grown a white beard, looked older than Moses,
but he had no proof that he had travelled through time,
only that he needed a shave.
He had done it and he had done it alone.
He felt like a god on a mountain,
who had brought his hammer down
on a thunder stone.
He was told he would never amount to much,
the higher levels he would never touch,
his failure would fashion for him a crutch,
his house not a mansion, more like a rabbit hutch.
But now, content in his kitchen chair,
he supped his tea, knowing though his century
had ran out of reason and rhyme,
he could go back and forth,
journey out and on through time.
A Past and Future Memoir,
he would call his time travel log,
publish it as a work of science fiction,
for he knew that science fiction sells,
as it had done since the days
of Jules Verne and H.G. Wells.

Spiderman 33

                                       Spiderman 33

What a movie that was, Spiderman 33.
It was better than Star Trek 55.
I’m glad to see you agree,
made me feel good to be alive,
gave me hope that we would survive.
It was our kind of interstellar romance,
our kind of super hero mystery.
They’re finally free of those old comic books,
now they’ve gone for parallel history.

Your hair was blond then,
now you’ve dyed it brown,
I felt like the luckiest super villain,
riding round the town.
I had my Bat Mobile,
could not believe my life was real.
There were no secrets, nothing to conceal.

They closed down the old joint,
so we built another one,
with the help of some super hero friends,
now they’ve all come and gone,
but we still have our memories,
moving on the silver screen.
We found our Atlantis,
our fortress of solitude,
our bat cave of bat gadgets,
our light sabres to keep the cosmos clean.

Play that blues piano, Joker,
play it way down low.
Who needs the skills of Superman,
when we’re sat at our table,
and you touch your glass and glow?

Remember when time travel was just a theory
and we had yet to get to Mars?
Our grandchildren still laugh
when we say we drove round in cars.
When they speak of vacations,
they mean a flash out to the stars.

Remember when you wore your hair
like a black helmet,
and were glad you never got it wet,
and you told them in that fancy restaurant
that you’d just come off stage,
playing Brunhilda in Wagner’s Ring,
and that old man believed you,
maybe it was just his age,
and asked you, seriously, to sing,
but the waiter would not allow it,
much to my relief,
because I wanted to eat there again,
but I know you would have done it,
though your voice could out bray a mule,
you never minded looking like a fool.

What a movie that was, Spiderman 33.
Wonder when they’ll make the next one?
We evolve, grow, so we go, strive to be,
what was lost was never gone.

The Man Who Was Forced To Fly Solo

                           The Man Who Was Forced To Fly Solo

The future draws, forks out, fades, the past recedes,
under my feet a path grows concrete, complete
for me to tread on, see where it leads.
The present closes, a gate opens, made of black iron.
I pass through, to read a sign.
Zoological Gardens, it says, City of Liverpool.
Slowly, soundlessly, I step towards a man,
sat on a bench. He wears a bowler hat, moustache,
reads a newspaper, dated August, 1861.
I do not know what happened then,
I only know that time has gone.
Now, before me, an aviary gleams,
bold and complex, like a structure in dreams.
Further on, a hippopotamus enclosure widens.
So I pass through a zoo.
Somehow I know I am not here
to see the elephants, giraffes,
camels, parrots or baboons,
but to join the crowds on the central lawn,
to watch the start of a race, about to take place,
not one on the ground, but across the sky,
the partakers being the pilots of two air balloons.
Each man and woman I hazily pass by,
finely dressed, for an outing, wears a hat of some kind.
They seem aware of eachother, but not of me.
I do not mind, makes me feel curiously free.
I come to a halt, close to the anchored baskets
of the two air balloons,
watch them slowly lift from grassy ground,
gracefully to clouds, without sound,
heading east, Rainhill way, I hear someone say. One is called the Queen,
after Victoria, securely sat on Britain’s throne,
piloted by Henry Youens, assisted by George Luff,
and the other, Mars, piloted by Terence Jollife,
forced to fly solo, alone,
without the aid of his assistant, Ian Coxwell,
who still suffered pains in his neck, back,
shoulder and elbow after crashing
while ballooning in France.
Mars Terence Jollife called his air balloon
to mark that men would one day get up there,
among the stars.
“This is the first step,” he often told his fellow flyers.
The crowd is hushed. I continue to look up.
Only clouds shift by. Time ticks on.
Everyone wonders where the air balloons have gone.
Suddenly, the Queen lands on the finish site.
The news causes the crowd to clap.
Here and there, some cheer.
Smiles pass from face to face,
for Henry Youens and George Luff have won the race.
Long later,  the sun sinks,
like a dark cherry, about to burst, while unseen by watching eyes,
Terence Joliffe, fiddles around with ropes and wheels,
inside the basket of Mars, above the clouds,
continues to rise and rise,
fears he will perish in the cold void of space,
until, at last, he manages to manoeuvre his fall,
till he sees, far below, the lit gas lamps of Manchester,
glowing in the dark, like a scattering of pomegranate seeds
on folds of black cloth.
To his relief, he gains control enough to guide
his air balloon down, to land like a leaf
with a bump in a meadow near the village of Ashley.
In the dark of night, some men come with lamps
to help him rope down, deflate and pack his air balloon.
Stubbornly, alone, he walked country lanes two miles
to a railway station, to catch a train back to Liverpool.
One look at his pale, fallen face
told those he met what it meant to him that he had lost the race.
I blink, empty as the rough field I tread on.
The crowds and the air balloons gone.