Memories and Stone

Memories of stone live on

Shadows quietly holding space

Temporarily demonstrating their designs

Until the darkness slowly slips across the earth

Shapes growing taller

Lengthening until at last nothing

Their darkened moments on a crumbling wall

Caught behind the closing curtain

Deep within the forest

Buddha stares at the world

Mostly trapped in a tangled web of trees

Expression never changing

Surrounded by remnants of civilization

Long abandoned by both man and time

Foundations supporting ancient growth

Fallen blocks intermingling with twisted roots

Blades of grass penetrating each joint

Flowers emerging from every seam

Overgrown staircases leading skyward and nowhere

A stairway to heaven abruptly clipped

Hedges filling archaic courtyards

While a vigilant lion stares at the emptiness

Eyes transfixed on nothing in the distance

The aesthetic grace of a Devil’s bridge

Once a proud symbol of advancement

Obvious to no one anymore

Reduced to obsolescence without acceptance

Olden waterways

Their course changed again and again and again

Tiny ripples bumping across an abandoned crossing

Overgrowth laying claim the embankment

Supports eroded far beyond recognition

Peeking out from the brackish mud

Giant forest stones covered in mossy brilliance

Unplanned monoliths and menhir

Haphazardly placed by natural selection

Whenst long forgotten histories of pebbles began

Those tumbled stones nestled in riverbeds

Born as boulders on distant mountaintops

Slowly coerced to lower elevations

Leaving grains behind as they passed

Invisible threads to their places of origin

Time reveals the power of nature

Healing on a planetary scale

Reclamation of the defamation

Gaia slowly removes the traces of humanity

Until almost nothing remains

Only memories and stone


author’s note

The earth has demonstrated a power beyond anything human beings can imagine; including the power to repair itself after being ravaged by mining, deforestation, global conflict, and carelessness.  This piece is a conceptual look at what the world might look like long after the age of men has passed.  Only stone will remain; outlasting steel, wood, and even plastic.

Latest posts by R J Schwartz (see all)

R J Schwartz

I write about everything and sometimes nothing at all. I'm fascinated by old things, rusty things, abandoned places, or anywhere that a secret might be unearthed. I'm passionate about history and many of my pieces are anchored in one concept of time or another. I've always been a writer, dating back to my youth, but the last decade has been a time of growth for me. I'm continually pushing the limitations of vocabulary, syntax, and descriptive phrasing.

5 thoughts on “Memories and Stone

  • June 9, 2017 at 5:15 PM

    Most creative poetry. Lots to like here such as the line -Overgrown staircases leading skyward and nowhere. Made me think of Stairway to Heaven

  • June 9, 2017 at 8:51 PM

    A profound look at what the world will look like if all humanity fades out. Stone – ancient and beautiful. Great phrasing and a thought provoking look at time. Well done, Ralph.

  • June 10, 2017 at 2:45 AM

    Great work Ralph and some wonderful and memorable phrasing to boot. Thought-provoking and a pleasure to read my friend. Cheers!

  • June 12, 2017 at 11:18 AM

    Sooner or later this maybe all we are left with, stone statues of the things we were, the things that we accomplished. Great piece Ralph

  • June 13, 2017 at 6:42 AM

    Just like we look at the ruins of ancient civilisations and imagine what their society and lifestyle must have been like, so it shall be when our own civilisation is gone and lies in ruins. Well written, Ralph. A memorable read.


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