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Monocle Husky

Paleolithic Bear Cults

When I was little, I was fascinated by a picture in one of my many books on prehistoric life which showed early humans worshipping a bear skull. That's probably what made the scene of primitive religion in Neil Gaiman's American Gods stick in my mind, many years later.

So, when the second [adjective][species] poetry collection called for poems involving animals and religion or spirituality, this is what came out.

CAVE GOD

As you made fire,
so you made me.
From the skull of a bear you killed
not because she was attacking
or had attacked before
but because she might attack
From the skin of a sleeping lion
you tracked and speared and thanked
From these things, you made a god.
From nothing, you made the idea of god.
You named me as you name your children.
In me you pour your prayers
your fears
as you store meat in your clay pots.
I am your bear-lion-god.
I am dead things. Empty space. And power.
What do we make next?

Comments

Nice!
Thank you!
We must have had the same book. The Usborne book of prehistoric life?
I think that was it! Did it also have the rather horrifying picture of a creature struggling in the Utah tar pits, captioned 'a fossil of the future'?
It was this one: 8683287
YES! Golly, that's a blast from the past.
I hung onto this book for decades, and my daughter inherited it. Over Easter we visited one of my old Livejournal friends in Prague and she gave it to his son. http://benicek.livejournal.com/398874.html
Excellent! Good to know an interest in prehistoric life is still being encouraged!
Love it! :D
Thank you! :D