Hour Nineteen, Image Prompt


Most people exist on the surface,
content to think nothing of what lies beneath.
Layers upon layers build over the years,
millennia of strata built of bone, wood, and stone,
each layer with its own tale to tell,
yet to many they may as well not exist.

The anthropologist that one degree
declares me to be demands to know more,
to seek out those stories and chronicle them,
the writer within sifting through the detritus of time,
to parse who, what, and where came before,
and why that should matter.

Nature’s revelations so often
are prompted by violence,
short, sharp upheavals of stone and soil
by earthquake, volcano, and flood,
or the creeping disintegration of softer layers,
a gentler violence through time.

3 thoughts on “Hour Nineteen, Image Prompt

  1. Tracy –
    This poem has so many layers, as you so beautifully describe the “millenia of strata” and later, “the short, sharp unheavals of stone and soil.”

    I read the poem several times. And . . . will go back and read it again later.
    I hope you consider this one for the anthology!


    1. Colleen,
      Thank you! I was hoping the layered meaning would be connected by a reader and not be too obscure, and you have eased my worry. So far, this one is in the running for what I’ll submit.

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