Mudlark No. 63 (2017)

		   Mammoth ivory pendant in the National Museum, 

		      A stone knife, serrated edge through glass,
	  among the echo of school children in blue sweatshirts. Long 
						             thin flint, chipped white, beige 
		   in the wan museum light. 

					  Burins from Paviland Cave: lithic flake 
	to carve wood or bone. Woolly Rhinoceros, Reindeer. 

	         The boy from the cave, lying in state. Bones 
							               dusted with ochre:
		the color of dreams passing each other beneath the earth. 

Unknown boy, the boy we all know, lying in his shallow grave, body extended, 
			     close to the cave wall, a mammoth skull 
								                  to mark his head, 

                 rising from the earth, sinking back. 33,000-year-old
		 flint-scarred hands, working the tusk. Tusk animates
					                                                  fingers; fingers 
 animate tusk. To feel ivory is to be 
					 felt by ivory...

			      Everything is alive like a merciful weapon!

	Back home: Devon coast disappeared by low cloud.
						   Acorn barnacles attached to a clam shell 
  the water’s rubbed down to pitted stone. 

                                                       My fingers play across the holes...

Christien Gholson  | Tidal Flats 21
Contents | Mudlark No. 63 (2017)