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Poem: "Older Than Dirt" - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith
Poem: "Older Than Dirt"

This poem came out of the February 5, 2013 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by prompts from kelkyag and moonwolf1988.  It has been sponsored by janetmiles.  This poem belongs to the series Monster House


Older Than Dirt


There are old things
and then there are the Old Things.
There are old people
and then there are the Old People.

It's a bit of a joke
when my son asks
the little old lady ghost
how old she is,
and she replies,
"I'm older than dirt."

But it's the lurking shadow
who hisses a laugh and says,
"I really am, you know."

Because there are creatures like
the bogeyman and the monsters
under-the-bed and in-the-closet
who came into being after human beings
began to imagine  them into being;
and there are elementals
like the dragons and the trolls
who developed as the planet
divided itself into land and sky,
quenched fire with water;

and then there are the Old Ones
who were before any of this was,
who existed before awareness
had even thought of itself.

First there was the Darkness,
and then there was Light,
and from their union came Shadow,

from which all lesser slivers
of bright and dim and shady
have come to be,
some of them taking on
new traits and shapes and faces
as they grow into themselves.

They are old as infinity,
and old for eternity,
and yet sometimes they can still
grow into something new.

I stretch out on the couch
under the rippling fringe
of someone who is
just one generation down
from the Oldest Old Thing of All,

and I recall the campfire stories
that the lurking shadow has told,
and it makes me laugh a little
to think that of all the scientists
trying to figure out how the universe was born

apparently none of them thought to ask
someone who already knows.

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7 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
kelkyag From: kelkyag Date: February 7th, 2013 06:21 am (UTC) (Link)
apparently none of them thought to ask
someone who already knows.


Note to self: ask at the next appropriate fishbowl.
janetmiles From: janetmiles Date: February 7th, 2013 02:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
Because there are creatures like
the bogeyman and the monsters
under-the-bed and in-the-closet
who came into being after human beings
began to imagine them into being;
and there are elementals
like the dragons and the trolls
who developed as the planet
divided itself into land and sky,
quenched fire with water;

and then there are the Old Ones
who were before any of this was,
who existed before awareness
had even thought of itself.


I like this schema, a lot.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: February 7th, 2013 04:23 pm (UTC) (Link)

Yay!

I'm happy to hear that.

Leave it to me to reverse engineer the evolution of metaphysical entities using scientific as well as mystical principles.
ladymondegreen From: ladymondegreen Date: February 8th, 2013 04:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
That's excellent.

I particularly like
I stretch out on the couch
under the rippling fringe
of someone who is
just one generation down
from the Oldest Old Thing of All,


because of the image that after you've been around for that long, protecting new life is something that is still important.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: February 8th, 2013 11:07 pm (UTC) (Link)

Wow!

I hadn't thought about that aspect specifically before you pointed it out, but yeah, there it is. Everyone must seem like an infant to the lurking shadow.
From: rhodielady_47 Date: February 13th, 2013 05:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
I like how you wove all the different concepts together in this poem---very nice job!
I love that last couple of lines best of all.
:)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: February 13th, 2013 07:26 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thank you!

I'm glad you enjoyed this. It was interesting to work through who would be the oldest and why.
7 comments or Leave a comment