Sunday, March 14, 2021

Hoodoos in the Rearview

The reason it’s hard for rock art
To be a field of hard science

Is similar to the reason
Astrology took its sweet time

About birthing astronomy—
We want someone to talk to us.

We want to see signs meant for us
When they weren’t, or aren’t even signs.

We dream of a rupestrian
Paraprosdokian, a line

Of ochre water buffalos,
Rhinoceroses, antelopes,

Bow hunters, and therianthropes
Heading into a UFO.

Something like that. An ancestral
Coded message straight to our times.

To prove how deserving we are
And how not-crazy for hoping,

We demonstrate such tricks ourselves,
Filling, burying time capsules,

Stashing libraries in salt mines,
Seed banks against Armageddon

In the bowels of icy islands,
Universally parseable

Flame figures at nuclear sites,
Brass and gold clocks of the Long Now.

Still, our constellations, perhaps
Models for those therianthropes,

Like the ancestral languages
That all had a word for ochre

(They must have had!), refuse to talk.
Are those aliens on that rock?

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