Cave Paintings: Altamira

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Cave Paintings
(11,000 BCE)

Cold rock presses on shoulder and neck.
Sunshine dwindles until daylight is a distant star.
A great weight of earth weighs me down.

The tour guide strikes a crimson spark.
Firelight flickers, shadows dance, animals appear:
deer, elk, boar, buffalo.

Magic illusions
created from fat, charcoal, red ochre, ash …
how long have these huddled herds
grazed their way across these walls?

 My spirit sweats as elders anoint
my flesh with bear grease (for strength),
with greyhound hair (for speed),
with wolf blood (for tenacity on the trail).

They brush my eyes with eagle feathers.
Now I am a hunter.

I envision the animal my arrows will pierce.
My backbone arches like a bow.

 I shoot thought arrows:
my beloved dances her death dance on tip-toe.

12 thoughts on “Cave Paintings: Altamira

    • The first time I visited the caves, back in 1963, a little man placed a red hanky over a torch, turned out the electric lights, and waved the torch slowly up and down in imitation of firelight. The walls came alive and the herds moved and the buffalo danced on tiptoe. It was incredible.


    • Just for you, Tanya. I’ll publish it sometime.

      El Cristo de Carrizo

      “Contemplate this crucifixion.

      Each time you sin
      you plant a fresh
      thorn in your savior’s

      Each misdemeanor
      spears the sacred side
      or hammers a nail
      in hand or foot.

      Christ lives in you.
      your daily misdeeds
      nail him daily to the cross
      he bears for you.

      No death, for him,
      no resurrection:
      just an everlasting hanging
      from these nails you daily drive.”

      Liked by 1 person

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