End of Cycle: "Adrift Without a Star"

This ends the third cycle (The first being 'The Earth is Flat and the Heavens a Dome" and the second being "Gold Smoke and Blue Fire") of poetry.

Adrift Without A Star was a phrase coined by a friend of mine, accidentally, when describing the fate of space probes that lost their way and being solar powered, were out of range of any energy source. There is almost zero friction in space so whatever last speed the probe had it would continue, but would have no power to change course unless it happened to come near enough to a star (perhaps an inevitability given the count of stars in the cosmos) to charge its batteries, provided they still would accept charge.

The meaning behind any symbol has a facile and prosaic expression, and sometimes a very clever distillation of its essence into a sentence. At its best Twitter, like other short mediums, becomes this: potent distillations of ideas. But it is mostly facile and prosaic. The notion of Adrift Without A Star is either so simple as to not require explanation or so subtle as to be incomprehensible except as wordless thoughts evoked as a byproduct of reading a number of poems.

In our time we have, like the hopeful prisoner of war, many reports of our deliverance from ruin. Our truly conservative forbears would brook no such optimism. A place with no king, no altar, no sacrifice, and no honor is not progressing towards greatness. It may be that within its shell a new life, like the hollow crust of an egg, is being nurtured for its time of nativity. Our best hope is in an advent if you will. We pray for a death both peaceful and free of sin for the rest.

The poems within this cycle should be thought of as the visions that pass during sleep in that time when a dream is becoming a nightmare but is not yet a nightmare; the passage from one to the other is not yet certain. The last poem written in it (Awake in the Night) is about precisely this; the vision of omens which cannot be controlled or perhaps even known. To pry into them is to turn the beautiful and desolate mystery of a dying world into a nightmare.

The poems that fall within this cycle are many, and I will likely cull a number of them for the finished work. Here is an exhaustive list:

  • Adrift Without a Star
  • The Orator Exhorts the Opposition
  • Vintage
  • The Poet Raises a Toast
  • The Human Progress
  • The Rose of Joy
  • Broken Things
  • Roko's Basilisk
  • Utter
  • Christmas Tree
  • Rail
  • Antony
  • The White Car
  • New Year
  • It Was a Very Good Year
  • No Rain
  • Dark City
  • Unravel
  • White Knight
  • The Blaze of Their Glory
  • Footprints
  • The Stele
  • The Poet Reflects Upon the Early Spring
  • The Orator Denounces a Baudy Festival
  • Roles
  • The Sage Rebukes Knowledge
  • Aim: Beauty
  • Askance
  • Howling at all Hours
  • Oculus Rift
  • Under the Legs of The Highway
  • Rest In Peace
  • The Sage Considers the Bishop's Advice
  • You Didn't Build This
  • Lenten Spring
  • The Former Ruins
  • No Brakes
  • The Theorist
  • The Orator Remarks on Choice Ironies
  • The Sage Contends for the Bond of Frendship
  • The Gull and the Crow
  • The Poet asks the Final Question
  • Together
  • The Lotus Eaters
  • Sunflower
  • The Man Blind From Birth
  • The Overture
  • Old Night
  • The Sage Remarks on Woman
  • The General Strike
  • Aloft
  • A Song of Evening
  • Pentecost
  • Kissing the Sea
  • Dress
  • The Poet Saw a Nightmare at the Death of a Poet
  • Sonnet V
  • The Quick
  • The Poet and the Hooded Night
  • Correspondence
  • No Sleep
  • Cast
  • The Orator Calls Upon the Last
  • The House of Pleasure
  • The Great Filter
  • Fast
  • The Sage Remarks of the Outside
  • Flame on Flame
  • The Whale's Song
  • Five Rings
  • Rainbow
  • Unrestrained
  • The President's Speech
  • The Homeless
  • Reasonable
  • The Husband's Song
  • Doom
  • Pulse
  • Rotherham
  • The Poet Sings of the City at Night
  • Outshine
  • The Poet Explains his Mirth
  • Canticle for the Dead
  • The Aristocrat
  • The Black Bird
  • The Engine of Dreams
  • The Sick Man
  • The Benevolent
  • Justice
  • The Binding
  • Public Opinion
  • Fear of the Heavens
  • The Song of the Bits
  • Icarus
  • Lazarus
  • Comet Catcher
  • Coalfire
  • Cohongarooton
  • Awake in the Night
 It's about 100 poems. Note that this does not include the Social Matter poems composed during this same period.

More to come.


  1. So does this mean you are going to publish these in a volume?

  2. Good deal. Let us all know. I may have to break down and set up an Amazon account.


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