Poem: Lascaux II.

By: Neil Creighton

caveshell

It is a facsimile,
but few galleries are more beautiful.
There is a hush,
a sense of the sacred.
In the dim light the walls shimmer
with copies of artwork,
walls and ceiling covered
with confident boldness of line,
beauty of eye, antler, hoof and horn,
curves and bumps and ceiling too
masterfully integrated into one fluid flow.

17,000 years ago,
in the nearby cave of Lascaux,
men and women mixed their colours,
prepared smoke free oil,
built their scaffolding and,
like Michelangelo,
covered the walls or lay on their backs
and painted the roof,
moved by their muse,
a deeply human compulsion
to not just represent
the power of hoof and curve of horn,
but to create beauty,
to seek meaning,
and surely to reflect the sacred,
a sense of something vast beyond themselves
of which they were
a small, vulnerable but gifted part.

I know you, my brothers, my sisters,
painting in your cave.
Your sensibility is mine.
This human finger, touching the keyboard,
shaping words into patterns,
seeking order and meaning,
surely comes from shared desire.
Is it really so different
that your vision was herds, horns and hooves
and the mark of your hands on the wall,
whilst mine is songs of the heart,
longing for compassion and surrender to love,
when we, in vulnerable mortality
and common humanity
desire the beauty of art
and communion beyond self
with the mysterious divine.

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