Rosetta Stone

For today’s prompt, write a message poem.

– and –

For today’s prompt let’s try a history poem.

Rosetta Stone

Just another hunk of rock
for the stone carvers,
another stele for the temple,
inscribe the decree of the Pharaoh
then on to the next piece.

They probably grumbled,
under their breath,
about having to carve
three languages
into the granodiorite.

Their names were forgotten,
like all working men,
long before that stone
was recycled as just another brick
in a fortress wall.

It wasn’t supposed to be art,
but now it’s in a museum,
always surrounded by people
gawking, who can’t even read
their crisp handiwork.

Those ancient Egyptian masons
could not imagine our lives
but the message has survived
more than two thousand years.
They were just doing their jobs.


The picture and hand are both mine, from when I visited the British Museum two summers ago.


About Bartholomew Barker

Bartholomew Barker is one of the organizers of Living Poetry, a collection of poets and poetry lovers in the Triangle region of North Carolina. Born and raised in Ohio, studied in Chicago, he worked in Connecticut for nearly twenty years before moving to Hillsborough where he makes money as a computer programmer to fund his poetry habit.
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7 Responses to Rosetta Stone

  1. Lisa Tomey says:

    Well done. Thank you for using my prompt.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. JeanMarie says:

    Nice. An interesting meditation on history and unknown people who made it. Plus, you got Lisa’s history prompt and Brewer’s message prompt.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Susi Bocks says:

    How cool – The Rosetta Stone! When I was in high school, this was a book report of mine. I absolutely loved researching it. :)

    Liked by 1 person

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