A book lies closed, it’s spine
and cardboard covers holding pages secure;
but a page is open, graced by the light
to be perused and hopefully cherished.
But fragile – too close to destruction
by the elements – fire, water, air . . .
How different when sheepskin held
precious words inked on by scribes
who toiled hours upon days
for a finished product that lasted
centuries – even then its words
could be scraped off for rewriting.
But the Egyptians, Jews, and Greeks
wrote upon carved rocks,
polished smooth and etched –
so many millennia later
we can still discern their meaning.
Turks and Mongols declared their
feelings and thoughts on stones, boulders
carved into mountain tops for the Eternal Being
to see – freely witnessing for any and all
who chose to pass their way.
Even our forefathers knew
to carve words into monuments
names onto stone
erect and solid for generations
to see and understand.
So many voices now clamoring
to be heard – tumultuous, tempestuous,
lost in the vastness of the system
meant to carry them to be viewed,
to be voiced . . .
Are our words so temporary now –
as fragile as the paper printed upon
or coded to be thrown across
the world wide internet –
which hackers could erase
by the touch of a button
or the crash of systems.
And on the Mongol steppes the stones lie
more than a millennia old, two even,
the caves of the Anasazi and Inca temples
holding images with stories behind them
while a ripped, wrinkled, tattered page
lonely flies down the street . . .