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Saturday 28 May 2011

Cro Magnon Man Explains His Culture

Our first art was engraving of a sort.
Deep underground, in caves as dark as sin
we chiselled walls with beasts we craved as kin:
brothers in nature, maybe, soul and thought.
We conjured those we hunted, feared or fought,
and in such closeness traced our origins.
All flesh was then as one beneath the skin,
made so in charms the sorcerer had brought.

So what did we bequeath to you and yours?
A rock or two with paint and shallow scores?
Some poor graffiti buried in the stones?
A scattering of shards and a few bones?

But what a surge of spirit, mind and soul!
How close we came to simple, strong and whole!

And here is one I made earlier...
(Posted in April 2010, to be precise)

Early man tells of a rite of passage

The shock of it went with us to the grave,
a long crawl down through Mother Earth, limbs raw,
some torn to shreds; thoughts brief, confused; in awe
of phantoms in that dark arena, cave
of altered states (induced, adrenal, brave
or oedipal), its contours stained for boar
and aurochs; childhoods blown away like straw
in ghostly lampsmoke, light and flambeaux, wave
and strobe. Horse notions whinnied through our skulls;
wolf, fox and bear sang anthems in our souls.

Long gone from dyes dabbed on with lichen wads,
they thrive beneath your hemispheres, those gods.
Entrenched in dark, illiterate, mute cells,
they dream old dreams and cast archaic spells.


jabblog said...

How far removed we seem from our ancient forebears and yet how similar our perceptions.

Bagman and Butler said...

The rocks were their Internet. We've just developed faster processors.

Brian Miller said...

nice...really like the first one...graffiti through the ages...some of the greatest poets still write on rock...what do we leave...our words, a few memories...

Rachel Green said...

Tha magic of visualisation.
Great poems, Dave.

Carl said...

You took me not only to a place but the mind of your subject. Spot on.

hyperCRYPTICal said...

Excellent stuff. I would love to view cave paintings but probably never will.

Anna :o]

Stafford Ray said...

Very evocative poems, and for me, timely. I have just finished reading the fourth of Jean M Auel's series of stories about Man of that time and can recommend them with minor hesitation to do with unnecessary repetition. But they do bring Neanderthals and Cro Magnon man alive for the reader and make us aware of the depth of knowledge they must have gathered just to survive!

Dave King said...

Absolutely right,on both counts.

Bagman and Butler
Good point! I must admit, I'd not thought of it that way before.

Thanks, yes, point well made - and some graffiti writers are still poets.

Thanks for that. Again, a association that had not crossed my thought pad.

That's a most reassuring comment. Thanks.

I know exactly how you feel.

A warm welcome to you and my thanks for both the visit and the comment. Also for the book recommendation. Does sound interesting!

Mary said...

You definitely have a way of getting into the mind of early man!

Titus said...

A subject I am fascinated by Dave: they are us, utterly us. Technology is the separator, not genes. Loved your tight musings.

Andy Sewina said...

Bang on Dave, loved them both!!