The Stone And Reality

The Stone And Reality

I picked up a stone,

A lump of flint,

And held it in my hand

That I might judge its reality.

It weighed heavy in my hand,

Solid and brittle.

The outside rounded

With nodules,

All chalky white,

Smooth with small holes

Speckling its surface,

Tiny craters,

Glimpses through the crust

To the darker kernel of its nature.

One side had sheered

Into a glassy sheet,

Alive with brown, grey and black hues,

With depth,

As if my gaze could pierce into its deepness;

As if it were an aqueous liquid,

An undulating vitreous fluid

In which the shapes and colours flowed,

But it was only light playing on its surface.

The stone was impenetrable.

This flint,

This brittle rock,

So easily shattered,

Whose shards

Have served us well in ages past,

As knives, arrow heads or scrapers,

But is this the reality of this stone?

The sum total of its being,

Its aesthetics?

Its uses?

Isn’t there more?

Shouldn’t we not consider its history?

Born from great pressure in chalk,

Silica seeping,

Slowly crystallising within the strata

In the earth’s crust

Over millions of years.

Chemicals fusing to form these nodules.

Should we not go back further –

To the birth of those chemicals in distant stars –

Their formation

In the nuclear holocaust inside a sun;

The Nova that spewed them forth into space;

The condensing into planets?

Or yet further back

To the hydrogen

That fuelled that fusion.

Or beyond that

To the Big Bang itself

When the fundamental particles

From which it was formed

Were created in a flash –

Into existence from nothing.

I held the stone

And slowly turned it in my hand.

Billions of years of change

Manifested itself before my senses.

Yet its reality was still elusive.

Should I not consider its molecular structure?

The atoms that it is made from?

The subatomic particles that lie within?

The network of forces binding it together?

The microcosm of my rock?

Should I not consider the energy it possesses?

The heat it radiates?

The light it reflects off every surface?

Its sound as I tap?

The radiation it emits as its atoms decay?

What was its reality?

I had barely scratched the surface.

I turned it slowly,

Examined it carefully,

Before tossing it away.

Opher – 26.7.2021

We are surrounded by mystery, complexity and wonder which we take for granted.

Everything is so much more complex than the reality we afford it.

Nothing is trivia.

I was thinking of Blake when I wrote this.

Infinity – the reality.

This is an anecdote from my childhood as clear today as it was then. The sensation altered my life – a spiritual epiphany.

Head In The Clouds

I was fed up mooching around. Jeff’s Mum had dragged him off shopping. I was on my own.

I set about touching up my track bike; the one I’d put together from parts I’d dragged out of ditches. I’d painted it in rainbow colours scrounged from my Dad. It needed touching up because it took a battering on our little race track in the woods.

After, I oiled the wheels and chain and adjusted the peg holding the cigarette cards so they flicked on the spokes sounding like a motorbike.


I decided to call round for my mate Tone. Perhaps we could go hunting lizards? With the roar of the cigarette card engine, I set off up the street.

Tony wasn’t in so I decided to go on my own. The meadows weren’t that far away. I threw my bike into the long grass and started hunting. I checked under the sheets of corrugated iron, poised to fling myself down on any snake or slowworm, but there was nothing. I stealthily crept through the long grass straining my senses for the rustle of a lizard that I could dive on, but to no avail.

I soon lost the enthusiasm. It was too hot.  I sat in the meadow, lost in the tall grasses. The smell of sun-dried hay, the delicate scent of wildflowers hung on the breeze. The meadow was alive with the bustle of activity. I watched, lost in fascination. Grasshoppers, harvestmen and beetles scurried here and there. The flowers were covered in colourful flower beetles, shield bugs and tiny flies. Honeybees, bumblebees, hoverflies and butterflies droned or flitted from flower to flower. Ants tended and milked their herds of greenfly.

It felt like I was peering through a microscope at a different world as they went about their business oblivious to my presence. I watched them feeding, seeking a mate, or scurrying around intent on some task that only they knew.

The air was full of electricity, powered by the heat generated by that summer sun. The sun beat at my skin but this late in the summer I’d already peeled, my skin now tanned dark brown, impervious to its rays. Delicious.

I plucked a long stem of grass, lay back enveloped in its rich aroma, surrounded by the industrious dynamo of nature, serene, sated.

I chewed, peering up into the azure blue sky, watching the odd cloud drift past, at peace.

As my eyes pierced the heavens an idea surfaced in my head: there was no end. The more my eyes penetrated into that pool of blue the more the incredible idea gripped me. There was no barrier, no end, I was staring into forever. The dizzying realisation of infinity seemed to take hold of me. The blue seemed to whirl and suck me into it, falling up into the euphoric metaphysical epiphany of the discovery of infinity.

Just like those bugs, my whole life was minuscule. Reality was infinite. Nothing more.

Opher – 22.3.2022   500 words.

Poetry – Reality


Reality in a cloud of electricity,

In infinity


Created out of chemistry.

The universe


In the head,


From limited senses:-

Not the whole spread.

What we see

Is partial.

It is not the universe.

Opher – 4.5.2020

I think it’s philosophy.

We think we live in reality. But do we? All our perception is just electrical activity in our brains.

We think what we are seeing and feeling is real. It isn’t.

It is nothing more than some phenomenon of consciousness – a network of chemistry and polarised charge – nothing more.

We do not even know if anything really exists outside of our head.

Poetry – Between


Between the atoms and the stars


The world of in between,

In which nothing is as it seems.

An unreality

In which we dream

And walk upon solid ground

And believe

One is more substantial than the other.

Opher – 24.4.2020

It fascinates me to think of the life we live. We think we live in some kind of reality but we do not. We are in between realities.

Solidity is an illusion. It is not based on substance – merely a forcefield.

The arc of the stars – the distance and speed are beyond our comprehension.

Infinity, atoms and galaxies are the reality.

The life we live is based on strange forces, microscopic and macroscopic, of which we only receive a glimpse.

Poetry – My Existence is Questionable.

My Existence is Questionable.

My existence is questionable.

                In a few billion years

                                No evidence will exist;

No bones,

                No fossils,

                                Not even an impression.

Nothing of my life

                Will be remembered

No word

                Of any poem


Not even a whisper in the wind.

Every atom

                That ever sang in my blood

                                Sent a shock through my brain

Or supported me against the force of gravity

Will be free.

Some of me

                Will find its way to stars

                                To explode through galaxies.

Some of my atoms

                Might even incorporate themselves

                                Into another sentient being.

There may be other words.

Opher – 5.3.2022

How pointless everything really is. How inconsequential.

All our little lives, trivial pursuits, matters of life and death, war and power struggles, wealth and greed. Even the destruction of the entire planet is trivial compared to the immensity of the universe. Our whole galaxy is but a pinprick, a tiny speck.

All our gods, palaces, castles and cathedrals are worthless and insignificant.

Our thoughts, dreams, hopes and aspirations, our fears, worries, anxieties and traumas, our pleasures and pains – all melt into oblivion when death claims our memories.

Yet atoms are perpetual. That is marvellous!

Poetry – Cavorting


Cavorting through infinity

                In a dream

                                For the whole universe

                                                Is not as it may seem.

Perhaps consciousness

                Is not rare

                                And every atom is aware

                                                That we are there?

Throughout, there is a vibration

                That connects us all.

But we can only wonder

                                                At the nature of its call.

For that is the pleasure of this journey

                As here and there

                                As we busily scurry

                                                We are largely unaware.

There are no answers to find

                Only questions to be mined.

Opher – 22.12.2019

Beware of those who are certain of anything. They are always wrong. There are no certainties. The joy is to discover the questions. For every answer connects us to further mysteries.

In a universe built on quantum there is no solid ground, not here or there.

Poetry – All is not what it seems

All is not what it seems

All may not be as it seems

                As substance melts

                                Before the microscope,

As reality

                Becomes subjective,

As mind impacts on matter.

For all of us,


                                Might exist

In two places

                                                At the same time

And misbehave

                                                When watched.

Perhaps imagination

                Is taking

                                A central role

In modelling

                The world?

Opher – 16.12.2019

I am always amazed by the latest discoveries of science. They are much stranger than fiction, more extraordinary than any religion.

It seems that particles arrive before they leave,

                That things can exist in two places at the same time

And energy behaves differently when watched.

Forget Schrodinger’s cat! It’s dead alive!

Perhaps they will find that we shape the universe with our imaginations?

Poetry – Words are not enough

Words are not enough

Words are not enough.

They never can be.

Words paint pictures

But do they connect?

Are the words the same

For you and me?

Can words do justice

To a majestic vision?

A leaf in words

Is not a leaf.

A sunset

Cannot be described.

I use my words to paint pictures

In your mind.

But they are pale imitations

Of reality.

We always fall short.

Even our reality

Is a pale imitation

Of what really is.

Our limitations

Make us fail.

Our senses are too few;

Our mind too little

Opher – 18.11.2019

I am always struggling with realisation that what we see is not real. The world is filtered through a limited number of senses. There is so much we do not see. Our minds interpret the electric patterns and turn them into pictures. But our minds are tiny; our perceptions limited. The world we see is not the world that is. It is so much less.

When we attempt to use words to describe the world we must always fall short – for even the greatest poet cannot use such limited symbols that connect in ambiguous ways, to describe a partially understood phenomenon. We must always fall short.

Poetry – My pink blancmange

My pink blancmange

I have a pink blancmange throbbing with electricity

That dispenses magic just for me.

It opens doors to other worlds

And provides me with a time machine;

Into the future – the depths of space,

The whole of the universe is seen.

My pink blancmange is a very special part of me

Connected to my optic apparatus it enables me to see.

It also connects to sound and touch,

And enables me to think.

Without its wondrous magic

I could not even feed or drink.

How it works is a complete mystery,

For it contains the essence that is me.

It has billions of cells

And trillions of routes

Like a super computer

It organically computes.

Somehow my pink blancmange creates my world,

Within it, my consciousness is unfurled.

Images in my mind –

Creating a universe from what I see.

But I have to question –

Is it really reality?

Is my pink blancmange making it up?

Is it really just running amok?

What I take to be real

Might be nothing more than a figment

Of a bored blancmange

Wanting to add colourful pigment.

Opher – 21.10.2019

We know our brains – a soft and gooey pink blancmange of cells and circuits suffused with electricity – makes an awful lot up. Perhaps it makes it all up?

Poetry – Nothing is weirder

Nothing is weirder

Nothing is weirder than reality.

                It spawns religions,

                                Gives birth to fanaticism

                                                Sparks philosophies,

Yet is elusive,



Stranger than imagination;

It just is.

Opher – 7.12.2021

I can never get over how wonderfully strange the universe is; how incredible life is.

Our minds cannot fathom infinity.

Our lives are too puny to understand eternity or even our own consciousness.

It’s all a wonder.