My first reaction to Sue’s Thursday Photo Prompt was a poem. The poem led into a piece of prose. I’m posting them both.
When the world was young the stones were old,
And no bright gemstones, ivory or gold,
Were plundered, stolen, coveted or sold.
When the world awoke the stones too stirred,
And watched the graceful arc of the first bird,
Its rainbow voice, the first song ever heard.
When furtive man began to delve and hew,
And with earth’s bones the gentle grass bestrew,
The stirring of the stones to thunder grew.
Now the angry stones watch oceans rise,
And weep slow tears when pure wild beauty dies,
But watch unmoved the plunderers demise.
For aeons the stone watcher watched alone, as the raging seas subsided, the storm skies parted and the first ripple of green crept over the dry land. It watched the first fish flicker, silver and green and gold beneath the waves, and the first birds, red and blue dive from the craggy furrows of its brow in chase. It felt the soft warm of burrowing animals, and the heartbeat of hunters curled in the shelter of its rocky caves.
Later, the second watcher grew from a seed into a gnarled tree, and the two watchers conversed in the rustle of the wind through leaves, and the whistle as it raced through crags and gullies.
Among the burrowers and the sharp-eyed hunters in the caves of the stone watcher’s face, were the first men, who stretched and pushed the walls, pounded the floor smooth and filled the air with their melancholy songs. The watcher shifted, rocks fell, and the songs became lamentations. The watcher frowned. The tree watcher sighed and chattered in the wind, uneasy.
When the first men chopped down the gnarled tree and burned the watcher with bright-biting fire, the stone watcher knew that the first mistake had been made. The end of beauty was written as clearly as if its story were painted on the coping of the sky. It was only a matter of time before the bright-biting fire ended all things. The stone watcher waited, recorded, and dreamed of the next world beyond the flames.