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Poem: "Stone Knives and Bearskins" - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
Poem: "Stone Knives and Bearskins"

This poem came out of the October 18, 2011 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by prompts from kelkyag and my_partner_doug.  It has been sponsored by kelkyag.  This poem belongs to the Monster House series, which you can follow through the Serial Poetry page.  The title of the poem is actually a line out of the Star Trek episode "City on the Edge of Forever."  You may also enjoy reading about tachyons.

Stone Knives and Bearskins

"What does this do, Grandma?"
I asked, pointing to
a strangely shaped gadget.

"It doesn't do anything, dear,"
Grandma said with a sigh.
"That's my tachyon compass.
Unfortunately, without a tachyon generator
there isn't anything for it to pick up or navigate by."

"So it's like a GPS without a satellite,"
I said.  "Too bad.  What about this one?"

"Freeze ray," Grandma said,
"but I think global warming
is causing it to malfunction somehow."
She pulled the trigger with a click,
and nothing but a faint cool breeze came out.

"Yeah, the handheld fans at the supermarket
work better than that," I said.
"And the shower thingie in the corner?"

"Well, that was  supposed to be a teleport chamber,"
said Grandma, "but building one of those
with this technology is like trying to make
a working radio with stone knives and bearskins."

I thought about that for a minute.
"I'm sorry our technology is too stupid
for you to work with, Grandma,"
I said as I hugged her,
"but I'm really glad you're here."

"Me too, sweetie,"
Grandma said, hugging me back.

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Current Mood: busy busy

5 comments or Leave a comment
fayanora From: fayanora Date: April 17th, 2012 04:29 am (UTC) (Link)
Time traveler? Timelord? Or a dimensional hopper?
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: April 17th, 2012 04:35 am (UTC) (Link)


Both actually, although when you're standing at the center of things, all of that kind of blends together anyhow. See "Stillpoint of the Spinning Wheel" for more of an explanation.
siege From: siege Date: April 17th, 2012 11:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
We're about a generation or two from having sufficient technology to build the tools to build the devices. Nano-scale etching, molecular assembly, dimensional physics (if a few folks would get the equations right this time!), and so on.
janetmiles From: janetmiles Date: April 18th, 2012 01:25 am (UTC) (Link)
I thought I recognized the line, and appreciated the allusion.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: April 18th, 2012 01:36 am (UTC) (Link)


It's a favorite of mine.
5 comments or Leave a comment