Cloud Spaceship



(*Post backdated to the date I actually wrote the poem. Post posted on 19/04/2017.)

Riding back on a bus from work, I saw this amazing cloud covering the sun and looking for all the world like a plume of smoke streaming from something coming down fast through the atmosphere. Well, apparently I just can’t let something so glorious go unremarked, so I got out my phone, took some photographs, and set my thoughts to, if not exactly paper, then certainly pixel.


Like a plume of smoke, the cloud wisps
Up from the sinking sun
Like a spaceship sinking, burning:
A battle lost or a battle won.
Blazing down through the atmosphere,
Reentry or retreat
Fusion reactor meltdown
An alien or human defeat?
Or maybe just a chance disaster:
Malfunctions are nothing new,
The captain giving orders
As she fights to save her crew.
The sun is slowly setting
And the cloud drifts further away –
Will the crash site be forgotten?
Did the engineers save the day?
The sky has cleared, the cloud is gone
Whether for good or ill
End the story how you want
And imagine what you will.


Sporadic Reappearances


I’m probably not going to be posting with any great regularity for some time. All for good reasons, but I’m afraid I’m not quite going to promise a regular schedule again just yet. I am, however, ready to announce being at least vaguely back. 🙂

All this absence has been because I’ve been working on the most important story I can create — my own. And it’s all going absolutely wonderfully… but that fact is also keeping me busy!

Tales from the Gossamer Relic II



This might look awfully fast, but it has been a few months since I wrote the first one. I just didn’t post it for quite some time!

Serene in space, the gossamer relic hangs about the star at its heart, draped like a crystal cobweb. Who built it, what it even really is, no-one knows. Its interior is all but fractal, here graceful and soaring, there blocky and compact. Gravity changes smoothly or sharply, so that people might be seen walking at all angles. And though the relic has never been fully mapped, it is full of people — for explorers come from all over the galaxy to seek out its secrets.

Continue reading

Windows to the Past


, ,

I got it into my head to set up an old list of songs I haven’t heard in a long time, and boy is this a window into the past. I haven’t remembered my younger self this strongly since the credits of Star Trek: Beyond. Except this time I’m just looking in and back, and seeing, well, me. So much of what I built then is still standing, and I hadn’t really fully realised quite how much of the old framework is still in there. Or how much I built atop it.

I also just went off to tidy some things, knocked over an old penholder that recently reappeared from my Boxes O’ Stuff, and discovered several whiskers from one of my old cats when they fell out along with a shower of drawing pins. (Ones she shed in her lifetime, not ones I clipped or anything.) I’d forgotten I did that. Apparently, when confronted with a full understanding of mortality, my response was to make sure I was able to memorialise and/or clone my then fairly youthful cats against the day, years in the future, when they were going to die. I’m not actually sure those shed whiskers have enough DNA in them to clone my cat, and in fact I wasn’t even sure then: I was banking on advances in technology, I think.

(This particular cat, incidentally, was called Tabitha. The other was Frisky. I have what’s probably one of his whiskers somewhere too: I remember my other storage place for them was an old film canister, which I labelled neatly with its contents. I haven’t found that yet, though.)

In other news, The Fused is about to come back online, as I’ve just been writing up the next chapter! The Tuesday posting schedule should, unforeseen issues notwithstanding, resume this week. More is about to be explained…



I have a lot of fond memories of messing about on the river. And see, now the Internet learns why no-one should ever encourage me even a little bit. 😉

The river waters ripple
Splash quietly ‘neath the hull
In the dappled sunlight shining
Through the pale green leaves above
The oars rest in their rowlocks
Drift slowly with the flow
A quiet day on the river
With nowhere else to go
The breeze may blow by gently
And make the ripples dance
The wind may blow through strongly
It’s all up to chance
The sun is bright in sapphire sky
The few clouds small and white
Drifting down the river
Until the time is right
To turn around and head upstream
To where the trip began
To moor the boat and climb out
Back on the riverbank
And walk away still smiling
The river in your head
A rowboat gently rocking
Long after journey’s end.

Tales from the Gossamer Relic



I actually wrote this a couple of months ago, probably sometime in late summer but I’m not entirely sure when, and then just left it kicking around as a backup story for a slow day. Today is definitively a slow day. Or at least it’s a day where I don’t really want to expend any more energy doing something complex. Thus, rather than leave it drifting around even longer to maybe eventually fiddle with it later, I figure I might as well post this one!

People come from all across the galaxy to explore the relic. Trained and untrained, rich and poor, prepared and clueless, they come, they land, and many of them never leave. They call it a relic, but really, no-one even knows if that’s the appropriate word for it at all.

Seen from several AU away, it looks like a glowing thistledown, ephemeral and fragile. A ship closing in at sublight speeds could watch it grow, slowly, the initially fluffy appearance growing ever more complex. At its furthest extents it’s more than 2 AU across, filling and overspilling a volume of space similar to that enclosed by the orbit of the Earth, and it’s lit all through with the light of the star at its heart. Close up, it begins to look almost fractal, with delicate detail on every scale.

Another ship lands, and more explorers disembark. They come every day, to seek and to study. Some enter the many and varied training programs that have sprung up around the landing sites. Others shoulder their packs, pick up their cases, and begin to walk.

The areas surrounding the landing sites are well-mapped, and even so, now and again an explorer will find a new surprise. But it’s further out that the real finds lie, strange and true. Some have still never been seen by human eyes. Some may be worth vast amounts — but most explorers of the gossamer relic aren’t in it for the money.

Continue reading

Campfire Stories


We lay our whispers softly
in the branches of the trees
paths criss-cross recrossing
as we tell our victories
they whisper slow and softly
as the night brings in the black
but the stars that shine in darkness
they reflect our glory back
the first grey light of breaking day
born of the rising sun
like wisps of mist the fallen
ghost the first grey light of dawn
and you tell your secrets safely
to the branches of the trees
their lines trace out the patterns
of their whispered mysteries
a thousand tales of heroes gone
still waiting to be told
are whispered in the hazy light
as dawn’s gold rays unfold

I was tidying up some weeks back and it’s a rather boring job, so I grabbed a piece of paper and scribbled down a quick line every time I walked past the table. The end result then got forgotten in my living room for a while until I noticed it cluttering up the table and thought I should really digitise it and get rid of the random paper. And I actually quite like this one (particularly since it got complimented!).