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Poem: "The String of Beads" - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
Poem: "The String of Beads"
Last Thursday at Archon/NASFiC I attended a panel about extrasolar planets. Part of the discussion wondered if there were other types of planet that we hadn't discovered yet, beyond the basic rock and gas ones. Well, one of my knacks is extrapolating exceptions and extensions based on an existing pattern. I came out of that panel with half a page of notes and four poems.

The following poem is brought to you courtesy of John K. Strickland Jr., Michael Brotherton, Walter H. Hunt, R.M. Meluch, Robert Reed, John Kaufmann, Roger Tener, and Jack McDevitt. Some of them mentioned that their reason for doing this panel was to provide inspiration to SF writers. Thanks, folks: mission accomplished.

The String of Beads

They were rich and never knew it.

To them, all the world was ice –
substance to be tunneled away,
clear cold brick for their houses – so how
could it be precious?

When the aliens came
with their queer two legs
and so-simple eyes,
the ice spiders laughed
and sold the world
for a string of beads – for who
could take a world away?

But the warm-blooded monkeys
burrowed deep in the world’s frozen flesh,
carved out its icy heart and
drank away its essence.

At last the world could take no more
and began to crack. A great groaning
and grinding arose from within.
The ice spiders wept crystal tears
and tried to mend the fissures with silk,
squeezing themselves empty,
but all to no avail.

They sucked the blood of monkeys
and spit it into scarlet bridges
that frayed away in the icequakes.

In the end, the world shattered
down to dust and fog,
leaving the monkeys no wealthier
and the ice spiders without a world
to call their own.

It didn’t matter that the beads
were diamonds the size of eyes,
for She-Who-Spun-the-World
had only ever made one
all the way of ice

and there was no replacing it.

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1 comment or Leave a comment
je_reviens From: je_reviens Date: August 7th, 2007 05:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wow! What a cool story in poem form!
1 comment or Leave a comment