The Cave of Forgotten Dreams

595px-Chauvet_cave,_paintings

Limestone arches shelter caverns.
Drawings incised by ancients
move in heatless light.
Bones enrobed in calcite crystals
scatter diamond reflections.
Shimmer bright. Animate deer
lion and strange rhinoceros. Horses
regal gallop into my brain. Celebration
of line. Sinew. Muscle. Life.

My foremother stood here. Felt her
divinity. Breathed in smoke.
Ochre hands tell tales of life
in the dark. She lay down into
hollows bowled by cave bears
whose bodies created cradles
in the dirt. She walked on.

Through the parchment
of my closed eyelids
I see you shadowed
against the dawn-lit window.

Your broad shoulders
block out the light.
My fingers remember
solid muscle, grizzled with fur.

I caress the warm sheets
where you lay. Know there will
be a day when this warmth
will not remain at dawn.
Roll into the oval you leave.
Return to sleep and dream of her
and the life they left for us.

An homage to Werner Hertzog’s film, “Cave of Forgotten Dreams” about the Chauvet cave and to William P. Smithem.

Photo credit Wikipedia Commons

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