Page 26 - HEF Pen & Ink 2023
P. 26

Red Stone Soliloquies
By Robert Stimpson Dramatis Personae:
Samuel: An artist
Kendra: A down to earth geology major Professor Duncan: A geology professor
SAMUEL and KENDRA enter first, followed by a crowd of STUDENTS. The STUDENTS, with SAMUEL and KENDRA included, mill about, crossing the stage repeatedly. They concentrate on the ground, as if looking for something. DUNCAN:(Entering, standing downstage center and addressing the class)
These stones you see hold ghosts of times long past.
Red bands of iron run them through.
They are but fragments of a long lost time. Deposited a million years ago,
back then they were but one long band of stone. Over a million years the strata were
Deformed and broken to a thousand shards. The pressures of the mantle on the crust pushed streambeds up into these lofty peaks. You’ll find intrusions of volcanic rock.
Where stone cut stone and filled it in anew. Original Horizontality,
can always be relied upon when one Needs a baseline to interpret the stone
As DUNCAN talks, the students continue to aimlessly stroll. Some of them chat with each other, some seem very interested in the ground, none care what DUNCAN has to say. SAMUEL and KENDRA avoid each other. DUNCAN turns
DUNCAN CONTD: (addressing audience)
I talk and talk and talk and talk but still They listen not, they care not what I say. Why do they not see this magic I see? These stones of red, this art upon the earth. Forgive me if I was sentimental.
A million years of clay and silt and sand
lie here conglomerated for our view
ancient iron found water, air, and light,
so dyed these walls into a tapestry.
A tapestry of horizontal lines
and yet a work of art nevertheless.
Then mother nature took her mighty hand. She pressed upon her broken lithosphere, new crust born of asthenosphere was made old material was just brushed aside.
To make new room the crust was bent and rose, desperate to get away from its mother
skyward it reached, coreward it fell, it broke
and knit itself back together again.
Stretching and bending unconformities until that tapestry of stone and stone
that has not been made for the eyes of man was all that could be seen across the land. It rises here, falls there, then meets itself.
A streak of granite touches with the lime, a laccolith within the stone sprouts up. Hold there, a vulture raises up its claw.
SAMUEL: Raising his hand
How do we know from where the iron comes? That ore which paints these hills all shades of blood.
My boy where would it come from but the core? All that we see has come from deep within
our globe, with iron in its nucleus.
SAMUEL: to audience
“The core” he says, and yet I don’t believe.
He must be wrong, for this place tells a tale.
of men and women lost to father time.
These mounts have seen the worst we have to give
they have observed us as we rise and fall.
A great kingdom to the north side faces
an ancient caliphate to the southern.
A state just done with civil war crosses,
so that it might help strike its neighborland. How could a place that has witnessed so much be dyed this shade of red by just a rock?
These scientific fools don’t see the pain
that was felt neath slate roofs, ‘tween granite walls.
Tell me, please sir, why are these peaks so sharp? I heard they have a hundred million years,
and yet they seem new like they rose today
How have they not become dull over time?
SAMUEL: not noticing KENDRA, to audience
These peaks are sharp like iron blades of war they cut so deep, they’ll slash you to your core.
Good question, you show great insight my dear. Your answer lies in the make of these stones. Aside from the iron which gives them hue,
They are composed of a granite substrate.

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