Wednesday, July 12, 2017

grasping to understand petroglyphs

carved in stone

I wonder if petroglyphs were social media of millennia past,
a connection to others that enlarged a sense of self,
a way to endure,
a way to fit into the cosmos,
particularly where earth and sun know each other best,

in Europe early artists created in caves,
in North America the sky drew them out,

something drove, called, 
those long-ago creators to carve in stone,
to shape a telling that would endure,

we reach toward the telling,
but we can never be sure we grasp it,

today I again searched out distinctive petroglyphs,
high up the Wind River Basin,
where a valley cuts up toward the mountains themselves,

here, two boulders on a steep slope,
above several glacier-created lakes,
display incredible figures who face east toward the rising sun,

I snap picture after picture to attempt to hold them,
to see their detail,
to see where they are in situ,
to stand where one figure has watched the rising sun
for centuries beyond our reckoning,

archeologists call this style of rock images, Fremont,
and find it unique and provocative,

I hope to print out the images
and work to understand them,
as if I can figure what the shaman knew
when he made them and imbued them with power.

by Henry H. Walker
July 6, ’17

by Henry H. Walker

July 4, ’17

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