THE MYSTERY OF HISTORY-ABRAXAS-anonymous(alex glanville)

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Joined January 2012

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(edit POST GLACIATION 6.11…)
6.11 from erectus rose the sapiens
(included in them, modern man)
as the earth-ravaging ice age
continued its destructive span
almost a full third of the globe
(at one cheerless time or another)
saw most of its flora and fauna
under great glacial sheet’s weight smothered
but then again the interims
saw life return, and with it hope
as forms diversified and strengthened,
became more capable to cope
the constant climate variations,
as chilling ice sheets came and went,
produced the broadest bestiary
ever in earth’s environments
seas in degrees, frozen to tropic,
found a dearth of aquatic mammals
sea lions, seals, porpoise and dolphin
(that no temperate water trammels)
and, of course, many wond’rous whales,
(the largest sea life ever grown)
softly singing to one another
with whistle, trill, click, hum and moan
sharks (still most vicious predators)
diversified throughout warm seas,
were still the most frightening sight
(still fed on anything they pleased)
fishes abounded everywhere,
of every color, shape and size,
with any number of appendage,
antenna, feelers, fins and eyes
squid, octopus and small crustaceans
nested wherever seas allowed
freshwater fish too, were quite common,
lakes, ponds and rivers came to crowd
the skies were filled with birds and insects
of every type imaginable,
some slow yet others winged with speed
so swift were near intangible
spiders and lizards, crocs and gators,
snakes and amphibians lived on
(but never regained former glories
that time had lent them once upon)
only the mammals seemed intent
to claim the glacier-tortured earth,
only the mammals trudged through snows,
found frozen ground good place to birth
and of them, man, the only soul
to every point challenge life’s chances
only man took nature to task,
incurred his own inspired advances
VII
7.1 with gestures, grunts, numbers and symbols
communication got its start
and with the rise of Homo sapiens
‘twas elevated by their art
on bark and stone impermanence,
on bones he etched with deft detail
from birds and rabbits to fat mammoths
in a variety of scale
he painted game he wished to capture
with the wet blood of those he’d caught
hoping to hold them in their likeness,
their very essence his art sought
and once their form he’d illustrated,
(the first human religious rite)
invoking his art’s alleged magic,
(and whate’er spirits ruled his night)
he’d sleep light with anticipation
of the creatures he would confront,
crying out in the dark, unconscious,
dreaming of dawn and the day’s hunt

7.2 (and who awake or fast asleep
a million and a half years hence,
whether ‘twas real or but a dream,
would conceive any difference)

7.3 the clan’s caves coveted the mountains
huddled against preglacial snows
where from the northwest winter wind’s
cold breath perpetually blows
several extended ‘families’
sharing their services and toil
feeding, feuding, defending turf
each in their youth taught to be loyal
to the whole of communal rank
from elders to ‘parents’ and child
to know their place and do their part
or to be cast out in the wild…
this winter longer than those past
had gripped these slopes in memory
the frozen ground yielded less food,
each day grew colder by degree
each night the cries of hungry children,
howling winds and barking dogs
mixed with the whimpering of women,
moans, crackling of wet fire logs…
the morning’s hunt must be successful
if these families are to survive
if their hope for more fruitful futures
for their offspring be kept alive
and on the mind of every member
dreams played their tricks through fitful nights
in smoke and soot-soiled skins behind
faithfully tended fire lights…
dawn bright broke night across the valley
and once again the wind was felt
blown snowflakes stuck where they were falling
slow dampening the hunter’s pelts
fast flying flakes flittered fine filters
turning the distant hills to grey,
blending the land and sky together,
washing their colors all away
squinting, the hunters scan horizons
for a sign of any game
but in the stillness of the snow
every horizon looms the same
in scattered stands spruce silhouettes
cower like hunters on the hill
holding their breaths, revealing nothing,
waiting in quiet for the kill
and first one stand and then another
begin to move, some play of light?
or some illusion of eyes’ blindness?
a trick by snowflakes played on sight?
slowly, three mammoths from the drifts
appear, searching for withered weeds,
out of the snow exhaling steam,
then into snow again recedes
curled ivory tusks and coarse dark hair,
massive coat molting pachyderms
their breath diffusing overhead
as anxious hunters restless squirm
then shrieking, screaming, waving arms,
banging their sticks and stones together,
hunters break cover of bare bush,
hopping and jumping through dead heather,
herding the elephants along
a pre-agreed-upon aimed route
to where the valley ends abrupt
in hills forming a shrinking chute
and other men wait, armed as well
with clubs and spears and throwing stones,
fully fanned out in semicircle,
and by their sides boys but half-grown
with sticks and branches set afire,
scavenging dogs baying with fright,
by elders pushed out of the scrub,
the burning bushes to ignite
then to be lost in the melee,
sure this distraction, to ensue,
possibly skewered on a spear
by accident, or stoned (some do)
all they had learned at their young age
(ages before a word was spoken)
was they should never run away,
their circle must remain unbroken
the hooting, taunting louder grew
once each, the other hunters saw
sticks, stones and spears hurtled, unhalting
at the mammoths all tusk and paw,
all spittle, stink, roaring, head rearing,
all rolling eyes and flying fur
and on those in this spectacle
their terrible wrath did incur
the conflict rose to a crescendo
as elephants’ and men’s cries mixed
with woeful wailing of the wind,
barking and banging stones and sticks
the snows as well, increased in vigor,
spotted with dots of mammoth blood
it splattered over scattered stones
onto bushes barren of bud
the circle closed as men grew braver
and elephants, still more confused
in every direction they turned
by stone and spear were cut and bruised
and then the circle became broken
at a small boy barely of age
who, in his imprudence and panic
taunted, unarmed, elephant’s rage
a wildly violent behemoth
and too, the eldest of the three,
trunk spitting blood between scarred tusks,
charged blindly, struggling to break free
a scream stuck sideways in his throat,
his eyes wide, staring at life’s starkness,
too numb to any muscle move,
his world plunged suddenly to darkness…

Artwork Comments

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