Stone story.

The humble star of this story
Is an insignificant stone
Which during a volcanic eruption
From the core of the Earth was thrown.

It fell, cooled, then merely existed
Nothing special, you’d say, just a flint
But the Stoneage man was delighted
When he saw the stone’s tell-tale glint.

The stone chips flew, and the caveman knew
It would cut some hardships away
It may have killed bear, or made something to wear,
But its useful life started that day.

It should have been seen, in Fourteen-fifteen
When a pilgrim, intent on his verses
Cut his leg on its edge, as it lay in the hedge,
And gave vent to his knowledge of curses!

It lay still for more than ten years before
A peasant out looking for stone
Considered it good, when combined with wood
To construct a baronial home.

There it rested above the principal gate
A witness to all kind of things,
The routine of life, invasions and strife
The comings and goings of Kings.

But such is the way of change and decay
The house was wanted no more
The timbers were burned, the stones merely turned
Into a pile of hardcore.

The scientists found the Earth was quite round
And we might have descended from apes
By questioning more, they found coal and iron ore,
And started to change the landscape.

They dredged up the sand, forked over the land
Mined coal and cut down the trees
Invented the bomb, (and worse) with aplomb
And drilled holes in the bottom of seas.

A schoolboy, tired of forced labour
Revenging his miserable state
Threw the stone with all his frustration
Far into the gravel-pit lake.

The sand and the gravel, the flints and the stone
Were devoured by the dredging machine
Then riddled and tossed, sorted and washed
To give industry, silicon clean.

Its previous glint of grey virgin flint
Now shines a glistening blue
For microchips are tiny bits
Of stone, sort of joined up, with glue!

The boffins plan, computers they scan
The Moon’s reverse to see
“Could we return from ringed Saturn?”
Dreams interplanetary.

Now this tiny crumb, Earth’s stony son,
Began a new life in Space
Humbly it rode, aboard the probe,
It informed the human race.

It looked at stars and flew by Mars,
Bright Venus and Neptune dimmer,
Programmed to go around Pluto
Where sunshine is more sun glimmer!

Dons were lauded, the Public applauded
“Will the pictures from Pluto be clear?”
But ‘neath African sky, by waterhole dry,
The Hungry ones knew death was near.

Now God on his throne, said to the stone
“You’ve had many hundreds of uses,
Human people implore, me to do more
Their prayers just full of excuses.

Most have all they need, but yet will not feed
Those, whose burden is greater,
Hunger prevails, while their efforts sail
Past Pluto – to measure a crater!”

“So rocket ship, and you microchip,
Can rest in this orbit of mine
We’ll curtail their plan; then, p’raps I can,
Dissuade them by showing this sign.”

The TV’s went blank, the boffins’ hearts sank
The civilized world paused and wondered.
A satellite lost, but who bears the cost
Of the billions of dollars just squandered?

Someone then cried, “Five million have died,
While we’ve watched this extravagant show
We’re losing direction and we need correction,
P’raps God is letting us know.”

Who knows, at the time, did they notice the sign?
Did people become more aware?
Just how their own future, depended on Nature
Or did they exploit without care……?

No people alive in One million and five,
As the microchip flew round the Sun
It came again near, when the Earth’s atmosphere,
Brought it down, where its life had begun.

Oh shame! Human nation, and Civilization
Your passing was your fault alone
But Stones have a heart and this one will start
The Age of Intelligent Stone.

        George Potter.

Published by George Potter

A retired Chartered Mechanical Engineer, still adept at getting my hands (and clothes) dirty, inventor of all sorts of non-commercial, but novel solutions, amateur carpenter and occasional writer of poems and painter in watercolours.

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