Monday, March 14, 2011

The Crystal Ball . . .

Strolling in Père Lachaise Cemetery one fine October afternoon just a few short months ago, with James, the animated animator of Reflections Weekend, I noticed this thick glass surface set in a decorative stone circle, and was captivated by the light it was reflecting, refracting, emitting, absorbing, . . . transforming in myriad transformations, demonstrating the magic in physics.

Looking more closely into the colored depths . . .

. . . . . . Crystal Ball
My crystal ball has been glowing of late
Gleaming in the dark hours after midnight
Inviting me to peer ever more deeply
Into her fascinating, hypnotizing depths
She has been showing me frightening scenes
Of towering waves engulfing towns
Airplanes flying into buildings
Oil refineries burning
Black smoke filling the skies to the horizon
Derailed trains sinking ships
Volcanoes vomiting plumes of ash
The carnage of bombs and bullets
Flooding of biblical proportions
Diseases which no one knows how to cure
Thirsty thousands of people living in tents
Pirates on the high seas wreaking havoc
Hurricanes devouring whole cities
Glaciers melting melting melting
Nuclear bombs waiting in the wings
Governments going bankrupt
Bankers betting in casinos
Seas full of trash emptied of fish
Grain growing scarce
Starving hordes migrating toward food
Boat people drowning wretchedly
Oil wells running dry
Great gnashing of teeth
Flailing of limbs
Woeful wailing
Many are speaking of the end of the world
Improbable stories of planets aligned
Ancient calendars and fateful dates
I thought the crystal ball
Was showing me the future
When in fact
She was only showing the past
Are worse things then yet to come ?


Stickup Artist said...

I hope not! With all the protesting going on worldwide, I am hopeful that people will start demanding loudly and in greater and greater numbers a saner approach to life on this planet before it's too late.

Amanda said...

It seems like history always repeats itself, and we keep on forgetting the lessons of hard won battles. There is another crystal ball somewhere that can counter balance what you saw in the first one.

Lena said...

Bad things have always happened... The thing is we find about them earlier now... Reading the news lately has been quite an experience... 8 different newspapers and all of them bad news... How can one live peacefully? There's day when I wish we came back to living a slow, calmer life...
Your photos are great, as usual :)
Warmest hugs, Owen!

Owen said...

Stickup, I hope you are right ! If enough people are dreaming of something saner, something better to replace the current misery which is the lot for so many, perhaps it will come to pass. It seems clear to me we are heading in a totally wrong direction. Be well...

Owen said...

Nadege, you must be right... I will be keeping my eye out for that other crystal ball, and will let you know when I find it; still looking for now...

Owen said...

Lena, slow and calmer... I wish, I wish, I wish. Life has been rushing along and totally crazy for too long now. We need to re-think the whole model. Current one is in bad shape.

All best wishes to you (and a little cheesecake too, which always helps)

Catherine said...

what a beautiful find - the crystal ball on the wall - quite gorgeous...

T. Becque said...

That is pretty neat. A crystal ball is what comes to mind too, definietly something magical!

Mary Ann said...

It almost looks like a mood stone. Maybe I'll put one of those on my grave.

Elisa said...

Everything is so sad, I have no words for it. As a mother I can't lose a hope. Just hope.

Margaret Pangert said...

The devastation is enormous when you see it in a crystal ball swirling like that. I always thought the earth generally modified itself to correct any roiling disasters in their infancies--mankind must not be doing its part.
The crystal ball is stunning, btw. A petite terre in its way.

The Sagittarian said...

If that crystal ball is right, best you smash the bejesus out of it!

mythopolis said...

To me the crystal ball is like the view of one in the future looking back - and down - at the earth and thinking, "Oh My God! What have we done?!" So, in a sense, it is premonitory. A big heads up that we have been going in the wrong direction for a long time. The present calamities, as your poem so aptly lists, could be re-written at any point of human history, and be as long and horrific.

I try to stay optimistic and close to home, but there are times I have to bite my lip to keep from telling today's children to not have children of their own, that it would be a mistake. That their children will be born into a world shattered beyond recovery. That maybe it would be better to hijack a Nasa shuttle and get the hell out of here while they can. Wake up and smell the metaphorical napalm.

And now, I will get off my soap box, and try to 'have a nice day'.

Steve said...

Is it just me? In the close-up I'm sure I can see the word "spirit" on the surface of the glass...

Dee Newman said...

We must not let fear and ignorance give meaning to our children's lives. It take courage to confront those who remain afraid of their shadows.

Nice poem, Owen.

Clytie said...

Wow. You have stopped me in my tracks with this. Both the picture and the poem. Tragedies have always happened, mankind has always waged war, Mother Nature has always had the upper hand.

I tried to find Steve's "spirit" written in the glass ... all I see is "PAST" barely visible near the bottom of the picture.

It may seem an odd moment to say so, but you have received an award from Random Hearts. Come on over and check it out!

PeterParis said...

Really nicely written! Perhaps better not find the second crystal ball telling about the future? But, don't forget that there have also been some nice moments in between ... and the same will hopefully also be the case in the future.

Amanda Summer said...

amazing images...........and the words conjure nostradamus.....and george santayana:

those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

Amanda Summer said...

amazing images...........and the words conjure nostradamus.....and george santayana:

those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

James said...

I rememeber when you took that shot. It sure does look like it could be a crystal ball. I wish it would show happier visions but I know that's not where the world is headed.

Anonymous said...

You gave time a new meaning. Hopefully a new beginning as well. Onwards to new frontiers, a long time ago people used to say. Wishing you all a good Tuesday.

Lynne with an e said...

Like looking in a dragon's eye.

Anonymous said...

your crystal ball reminds me of the "Lord of the Rings" and your insightful poem, too! I like the pictures very much. But the crystal ball certainly does not show only the horrible past but it will show you also the future - the world like it would be if people would respect nature, the animals and other people, too.... Hope that with all those horrible things happened in the past people finally will learn...! (The German politicians finally worry about their nuclear power station...!)

Have a nice and peaceful day, dear Owen!


Nevine Sultan said...

The hope is that worse things are not yet to come. Can we imagine any worse? I really can't. I watch the news and wonder to myself what the next disaster will be...

May your crystal ball show us... always... a bright light into tomorrow.

That top photo is beautifully beautiful... if you know what I mean... :-)


Pastelle said...

Ta boule est très belle, alors j'espère qu'elle finira par montrer du beau. Et vite. J'espère très fort, oui.

Owen said...



It's all we have now...

C'est tout ce que l'on a ...

Merci à tous

Simply thanks

Peace to all

Roxana said...

perhaps there will be a good thing coming out of this hell, though - that people will be awakened and start to change, and force their leaders to accept this change...

why can't the beauty hidden in such a wonderful image as your second crystal ball just make the bad and ugly disappear from this world? :-(

pRiyA said...

Owen!!! I tried and tried to remember where it was that I had seen that crystal ball before. Inside a tent of a soothsayer from my past perhaps...but that was not it and I thought and thought and suddenly there it was, right there!!!! Created from the very same stone! :-D

Twas given to me by the same wise witch who affixed it up in that cemetery you wander in.
And btw, did you write that a m a z i n g poem? I'd like to put it in my Tumblr blog.

Eleonora Baldwin said...

For the sake of my 5 year-old I sincerely hope not.

Your verse is potent like a tsunami, I am still shivering.

I pray. Do you pray?