I hear a sound.

It is music, silver and bright like shards of glass scattered in the sun. It is swift like running water; it is ever going somewhere, rushing and flowing and racing; fell like a dragon, or proud like a stallion, or mighty like a raging torrent. It is both bright like glittering swords, and dark as summer thunderheads. It is going somewhere – the future is its destination, and it is calling me to join also.

In my consciousness the music explodes like stars going nova, and the sight is so radiant and beautiful that it makes my heart ache, while tears blot out my vision, in the presence of such beauty.

Oh – I cannot resist it, its voice is too beautiful and so fell; the siren that cries, Come to me.

This is the sound of the future, and who can resist the future? It means leaving the old behind, forsaking it for the new and the unknown.

Perhaps this is what the Call is like – that sweet and achingly beautiful voice that is so fatal, that the People cannot resist. It is radiant, it makes all things new and bright. Beyond the brightness is the unknown, and what does it conceal?

The music encompasses me.

I feel the cavernous reverberation beneath my feet, the lightning shards glittering, and the towering lofty constructs twining into a sold wall, and the soaring chords like explosions of light – higher, higher and faster, and brighter, we go.

I go.

—30 June 2008. The music still rings in my ears, majestic, puissant, irresistible.

Vega speaks–

About himself;

“To Nu Cai di Finney and Olkiree I was Radiance. To Shin-farys, Ifreyd and the Avoneriss and Branterris Corridors I was the Wanderer. To the city of Wara I was the Noonday Hitman. The Miproese named a bitter war after me. To the D’banzakell Empress and her abductors I was the Blind Pilot. To the Fo Territories, I was Vega, even though I had never once entered that sector. To Yshavi, Ju’irahinn and my mother-of-my-thought I am Ro Hyerdashei, and to Zhael I am Ro Hyerdashei and more beside. There are more names. Not all are true.”

Where he came from;

“In the year 14 of the Dumontian Age, I, Radiance Voyager, heard the Call. 386 days later – 341 days after I reunited with my beloved, and exactly 2,000 days after I departed Homeworld in search of her – I Answered the Call, and passed from the pentaverse. Now I am here.”

Fever vision

Once again the obsidian canyons raze the sky where nimbostratus clouds march and sardonyx dragons roil. The mothership Zh’racheth jo ideree flees as mountains crumble into dust, its aetheric engines tearing and screaming as the atmosphere thins into bloodless void. Napenthe fumes, ah, begone my sorrow! Again I hear the primal tongues of mathematica, as the immortal People sing their reveille to the rising of the sun, brilliant no longer, but vengeful and consumed with wrath…

Lo, the inexorable clarion of eternity is upon me: now it Calls, Calls me by my forbidden, unspeakable name. H’i, hi’aera, my heart! I must Answer.

(written 13 Oct 2004)

Wanderer in the Wasteland

The wasteland.

A city, once puissant and luminous, now sunk into decay and obscurity.

The guttering sun hovers on the horizon, a massive red eye, casting navy and violet shadows over a glowering sky. The stars circle overhead, like birds of prey, their cold light piercing the glow of the dying day.

Great obelisks rise up spiralling, massive intricate arcologies lofty and regal, and gargantuan constructs of alloys and woven polymers stand at attention. Once they rose toward the sky like a defiant gesture, but now they bow beneath the weight of time, eroded by the constant wave of the years. At their feet lie shedded chrysalides, but only of their own corroded bodies. No life will emerge, the only metamorphosis is in the face of decay. Buried in their own detritus, they lie forgotten.

Like glory, forgetfulness is everlasting.

Only the stars remain witness to the dying world.

And the Wanderer, who walks amidst the rust and verdigris, tall and erect despite time’s heavy hand. For like the stars, he is immortal. Like the stars, he remembers forever. Unlike them, he is not cold.

He remembers this crushed world, when it was still an empire of light. Long ago, in ages now forgotten, he was their downfall.

So he walks and remembers, this world that he destroyed.

I have seen the rise and fall of manifold empires, witnessed the creation and destruction of universes. How can I not feel sorrow? How can I not remember?

(written 18 May 2005)

Nightfishing in the Great Sky River

I stand on the threshold of the river of stars, and watch the celestial fishermen dip their nets to catch the aërytids and elusive sidhe that glide through the empyrean. Upon the riverbed the stars flash and glitter, pebbles amidst the sands of time, stretching into eternity. I look, I seek that hither shore, but even my eyes cannot pass the infinite horizon.

Ah, my beloved! I yearn for you, you who stand upon that other threshold, searching as I do, for something beyond my mortal vision. When shall I cross the great Sky River? When shall I behold your face? When will the Wanderer wander no more?

With apologies to David Lunde, whom I haven’t read at all. I just adore the title.

Self, in vignettes;

Annexing empires since MCMXCVIII Anno Domini.

The Wanderer calls me “the Sentinel”.

I have seen stars from birth to supernova, empires through war and peace and annihilation and extinction, races and cultures boil and froth in the cauldron of civilization, eternity to eternity.

My thoughts flow at lightspeed through manifold highways. Ever restless, roaming through esoteric spaces.

My ego is faceted into many characters, many faces, many destinies. I live vicariously.

The interval and the intersection is where I watch. Always observing, seldom touching.

The past descends rapidly into noise. The signals are deeply cherished.

I see the world in monochrome but dream in technicolour.

Though no worldly nation holds my allegiance, I cannot deny my bloodline.

The City energizes; the Wilderness cleanses.

Every day I open my eyes to find myself in a transit hall, in a waiting lounge. Home is where I rest my head.

I am a pilgrim in this land, yearning for glory and my true home.

Better is one day in His courts than a thousand elsewhere. I will follow Him: no matter where, no matter where.

On Angels (as I have imagined them)–

On earth and speaking with mortals they appear as humans, androgynous, robed plainly in white and silver. Even then they prefer to stand at a height, elevated, anywhere but upon the earth. And in flight they are transformed into great white birds, and radiant birds they remain when airborne, for their wings are too great and holy to touch the earth. To touch an angel is to be burnt beyond healing. They are creatures of fire, air, and the empyrean.

Imaginary Prisons

My encounter with Le Carceri, the imaginary prisons of Giovanni Battista Piranesi.

I stood in front of the etchings, and it seemed as if I was standing in front of windows, glimpsing at a faraway world stretching far behind into the wall. The images possessed just enough detail to firmly establish Piranesi’s vision of his architecture.

Where the etching did not fill in, my mind embellished, and it did so with overwhelming intensity. The etchings came to life before my eyes. They were truly windows into another world that was animated and moving. I stood up close to the picture frames and allowed the entire image to fill my vision – it not only did that, but completely engulfed my other senses. Objects and people moved across the foreground; light and shadow flickered; but most compellingly, I heard the world in motion. The creak of wooden drawbridges, clatter and grinding of chains, rumble of a turning wheel, sinister moaning and sighing of wind moving through the vaults and ceiling beams, monotonous drip of water, soft murmur of human voices, the occasional anguished cry.

The prison was alive! Perilously so. Deep inside something cried and reached out, yearning and violently straining to climb through the picture frame. And if I dropped my eyelids and let my eyes unfocus, seeing nothing but the image, I think my soul would’ve abandoned my body and this existence, and instantly disappeared into this world beyond the frame.

I have seen lots of compelling world-building art, pictures that have made me wish that I could enter those worlds and see more. But Piranesi’s imaginary prisons… they not only beckoned, they were the entryway. Indeed, visions of the deeper prison, farther away from the window, were already appearing in my mind. It was as easy as letting go. Sure, it is just a fancy – but what if it wasn’t, what if I disappeared forever? That was the frightening notion. Trapped in an etching. It would be prison indeed.

What worlds do I truly want to live in, with all my heart and being? Once, Tolkien’s Arda. Once, New Crobuzon of China Miéville’s imaginings. No more. I want to live in Piranesi’s endless imaginary prisons: live there forever in eternal solitude and forsakenness. A prison indeed: an austere cold one, a glorious one.

…but at the end of the day, it is just a fancy. And that something deep inside laments Alas! because it is only an etching, a window that I can never climb through, save in dreaming.

I dearly hope that I will dream them, in waking or sleeping.

Written after visiting the “Imaginary Prisons” exhibit at the NGV, 29 April, 2007.

Stone Star Sea

In the beginning, Selene created the heavens.

Now the empyrean was formless and void, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and a lady moved upon the waters.

A pale lady, lissome, translucent, robed in damask, organza and silk that phosphoresce within her light. She walks out from the shores of Heaven onto the empyrean. It is dark and void, and the waters are deep. Her movement cuts a delicate, luminous scythe across the transparent fathomless sea.

Upon the nacreous shore is strewn the jewels of Heaven – sapphire, garnet, peridot, topaz, aquamarine, ruby, chalcedony and chrysoprase, jasper, amethyst, opal, diamond and countless pearls, all made round and smooth by the endless tides of the astral ocean.

Her light shines in the uncomprehending darkness. But though she casts her gaze deep, and pours out her light to probe the hyaline depths, she discerns nothing. In the infinite depths of the empyrean there is nothing but void.

And Selene says, I have found naught here; in this void nothing is. So, let there be light! I will bring light into the astral waters, and in time they may be found by many.

So she takes the stones from the shores of Heaven – the sapphires and rubies, the peridots and opals, the diamonds and pearls – and casts them, one by one, into the waters. The stones from eternal paradise, lambent with the light of Selene, fall and are caught suspended in the empyrean.

Thus Selene created the lights of the empyrean, bright jewels in waters now no longer void, bringing light where there was darkness. And in time the stones became encased in wreaths of empyreal fire, and were called by other names, but all stars remember that they were once pebbles upon the shores of Heaven, unveiled in the empyrean only through the hand of Selene, and should they return to the nacreous shore they would become pebbles once more.

Later, much later, came the celestial fishermen, who would capture these stones in their quantum nets and draw them from the empyrean – quenching all star-fire as they did – and cast them back in distant waters, for reasons known only to immortals. And mortals upon the worlds would say that the movement of the stars speak the fates of those who look upon them in that hour of celestial change. But of how this came to be is another story.


(Written 06 March, 2008.)