when i was young
i found
these stones
they were
everywhere
and
a friend had said
that if they were polished
they’d be worth
a great deal
but
no one that
he knew
had been able
to smooth
the surface
even
at an early age
i was
somewhat defiant
and
persistent
when told
you can’t
or
it can’t
followed by some phrase
like
be done
in any case
i took it upon myself
to prove
him
wrong
that’s when i bought
my first
rock tumbler
an inexpensive model
since my funds
and
knowledge
of
such things
were
quite limited
the results
of
my first efforts
were
rather pathetic
like
a love-sick youth
seeing
the true meaning
of
life and love
but
as i
gained more knowledge
of
the stones
and
the processes
others had tried
i refined my process
i learned
that
the best action
could be achieved
by
wetting the rocks 
just enough
for
the carbide grit
to cling
to the agates
as
they tumbled
i envisioned
it
as
a war between the stones
the grit
of course
were my soldiers
oh and
there were times
when i was certain
by
the sounds
made by the tumbler
that
i had indeed achieved
my goal
but
on close inspection
the stones
had not changed
so then
i decided
to seek the assistance
and
advice
of
others
one expert
inquired
if i knew
the nickname
of
the agates
that i
was trying to polish
when i said no
he said
they’re called
human greed
i can’t tell you
how many
tumblers
and
soldier’s lives
that have been sacrificed
but
i do know now
that
my quest
has yielded
little change
and
that
those stones
may indeed
outlast
even me
when
i finally
find
peace

 

® 2019, Charles W. Martin

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