Would I Become Prometheus?

Written While Watching Notre Dame Burning


If I had a time machine

The Notre Dame cathedral in Paris on fire, April 15th, 2019. Photo credit Thierry Mallet AP REX Shutterstock

I could travel to Paris

to just before the fire broke

in Notre Dame,

I’d tell the Parisians

I’d travelled back from the future

to warn them,

and people would know

that a fire was about to start

and they’d be prepared.


But then someone would say

“my son died in a car accident last week,

can you take us back

so that I can stop him from going out?”


And someone else would say

“my mum died from cancer last year,

can you take us back so that I can

tell her I love her?”


Someone would want to go back

to September 10, 2001,

someone would want to kill Hitler,

or warn Abraham Lincoln.


And back further;

the Reformation,

the Spanish Inquisition.


And all the dead would return

and ask to see their ancestors

and tell me about wars

that they had fought.


Someone would want to meet Jesus.


How far would I

be asked to go back?

Would I have to invent the wheel,

or demonstrate fire?

Would I become Prometheus?



Television, Crucifixion, Sacré-Cœur

Television, Crucifixion, Sacré-Cœur

Sacré-Cœur, Paris, France


Taken with a Samsung Galaxy Note 3

f/2.2, 31mm

Edited in Picasa


A version of this image first appeared on Instagram as The Worship of Television



Meet Me in Paris

Meet me in Paris,

you wear a rose

and I’ll whistle the Marseillaise,

I’ll buy us drinks

and we’ll talk about times.


Meet me in Paris,

we’ll walk the cobblestones

and fight off restauranteurs

until we find our place

where we’ll sit in soft focus

while pedestrians blur around us;

a trick with a slow shutter speed.


Meet me in Paris,

on the bridge where our love hangs padlocked,

meet me at the café

at the end of our lives

and we’ll drink one last time

and then tango into the after.


First published in ZineWest 2013, October 2013

Published in The Frequency of God, Close-Up Books, December 2017