Fragments from the Gone World


burial find


Imagine a planet
where mammoths
and bears outnumber people.

A mere ten thousand years ago
the human population of Earth
was five million bodies and souls.

You could fit them all
into two Toronto Canadas.

They were pretty much
the same as us
except that the Sun
was their God
and their timepiece;
the Moon was their Goddess
and calendar
and the revolution of the stars
was their constant tablet computer.

The water-waves in their bodies
lapped their bones like the tides of the sea
just like they do in you and me.

They had fire like us. They had knives
of flint and obsidian.
They knew well how to kill
sending arrows into beasts and men

stone hatchets into skulls :
a great letting
of blood was always with them,
caressing them.

The clever ones lived by rivers;
the dull ones lived by pain.

But they did not know yet
how to make crops rise up from the ground.

Ten thousand years ago
he or she who planted the first seeds
of wild rye or barley and reaped that first harvest
with jawbone sickle, started the leap
toward these nine billion twenty-first century souls.


from Eavesdropping in Plato’s Café

Featured Print:  Burial Find  by Linda Lyke
Newfoundland Paintings
Burial Find is in a series of paintings that convey the struggle for survival of the Beothuk Natives and European settlers of Newfoundland and memorializes the images of both cultures with their complex topography of land and sea.


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