Neanderthal, with Help from Cave Poem By David Citino
and Bear, Invents the Flute
In the dark cave of Slovenia,
40,000 years of utter silence.
No one to lift this leg bone of bear.
Two finger-holes punched through
to take the mortal breath away,
end open to let out the skein
of tones closer to human moan
than human moan, hoot of moon
wind-honed, horned, fervid scents,
fevered puddles of bison blood, beak
and breath of Gray Father, steam
of Mother Milk. We didn’t know
Neanderthals had an ear.
We didn’t know they beatified
their dead with color. In petal,
pistil, stamen they invented
prayer, and on the first flute
the closer-to-beastly unkin of us
worked, out of starless dark,
the melodies of bear, and birds
lifting off at dawn. The cave
is a flute, the skull is a flute
for wish to move through, true,
eye and nose hole waiting for
the skill to finger out our voices.
From the bones of our parents,
we tease out the music of us.
Happy Wednesday Wishes & Messages…