This land with hair of electric bands of light,
With the beard of a wood fire,
With dirt of glass shards in sand on the path
Not knowing which way to go,
Or hardened dirt like the fangs of a rattler.
Like new dirt just trod upon by new humans,
Savannah dirt, compact with high grass,
Then cornered into South African scrubland.
Two thousand, cornered like the last village
Squeezing invention into latent brains, illuminating minds
To thrive in a land with lading for two thousand.
This land’s an asterisk of query, an ass kick to evolve
Through stone and ochre on walls of caves;
This cave of rubbed amber and black glass,
Of ancient sects of spirit animus
The first glow of talisman blues, carved in bone,
The glorious con anima of females birthing the first goddess
Ripe and round, young and fertile crescents of breasts and hips
Fed red strips of cooked fat meat, wild barley, stolen honey,
And sacred blood of slaughtered calves.
Rituals of pairing when goddess blood first runs,
Elders choosing who mates by sea foam and rolled stone.
Rough circles of rock track the moon,
Track the forager’s circle through the landscape,
Through the births of circles and cycles,
Through summer mating and spring births.
In this land of two thousand spiraling through scrubland,
Hauling boulders into circles marking paths,
Trajectories to birthing caves, feather adornments,
The deep roil of underground torrents,
The press of a hand on the wall, blowing powdered breath
To leave impressions of unknown motive:
Was it I WAS HERE? Or territorial keys,
Or graffiti; and antelope etched in stone,
Tiny Venus totems carved in tiger teeth
Strewn about the long abandoned cave.
Seventy thousand years of dust and gravel
And time gauged long before the atom –
The circle of stone; and the mystery of skulls and
Lean brain, the mystery of the cave fire
(Crack flint with vigour – why does this work?).
Did they know the notion “why”?
“Why” makes arrow feathers and sharpened stone points:
They must have known it.