One day as I was eating my lunch, I started to think a lot about my lunchbox and where it came from. Not about Tesco or Asda or wherever, nothing like that. I was thinking instead of the processes of its plastic coming from oil, and where that oil originated, about pressures of rocks under the earth over millennia, about primeval forests and oceans, about sea creatures milling around them, eventually dying and sinking to the bottom to be crushed, the beginning of a colossal formation process. If that lunchbox could tell its story, I thought, how amazing it would be. Of course, everything plastic is all the rage just now, as we think of where our plastics of today will be in years to come.
Then I started to think about other everyday things around. What stories would they be able to tell? When we recall these stories, ordinary soon becomes extraordinary.
This poem is one such story.
Once mighty oak, from forest green,
I think of what you e’er have been:
How sunlight kissed you, stretched your frame
With nurture shared. What heights you gained!
You proudly held your canopy
O’er forest creatures, wild and free.
You watched it turn to golden brown
And fall with grace upon the ground.
As sunlight made a slow retreat
Came icy wind with glistening sheet.
So came your slumber as night was still
And moon illumined your snowy hill.
This was your tale across time’s span
Until one day there came a man.
I muse while seated, the fate you bear:
Once mighty oak, become this chair.
© 2018 Peter Tate