Lascaux



Cave paintings inflame the damp dark

ocher-red hand prints smooth sharp stones

blackness engulfs our path stifles our breathing

the enemy of art assassin of the mammoth

treachery of the unwitting human being


Poetry must plane the chip off its shoulder

we have created far beyond words before time

before minds shaped notions of continuity

and plenty planting and harvest hunting prey

five times our size giant animals infused with ghosts


The vital life force unseen yet captured

on cave walls in charcoal streaks and irregular

compositions space as malleable as time as ripe

for manipulation as the oversize bones propping

up woolly robes of these hunger games hunters


When I gaze upon the horses and bison

the common creatures of man’s first flourishing

the birth of gods and ensoulment the twilight

of fear and trembling before the wonders of the world

held fast by rolling hills feeding the mouth of the cave


Lascaux gleams as our mirror image our face now a bull's

long horns form a crown no spear in our side only memory

the portrait leaves blood where it belongs inside we began here

poets artists the advent of pure artifice how soon we learned

to leave it behind on the unbreathable streets of mammoth cities




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