Caught by the River

Dawn: a poem by Jelle Cauwenberghs

Jelle Cauwenberghs | 28th December 2015

The heron,
Flies, long wings.
Span time, horizons
Crystalized in caves.
Deeper than the grave.

You followed the painted horses,
And in their steps,
The river.

The Vézère – a love to it.
A vein through time,
Red with canoes,
Laughter. The dark sweep
Of the fallen sycamore.
Willows, warbling
Ghosts of deer.

That was now,
But it was also eternity.

The hunt began here.
The spear shaft, the
Lonely man.
He was not like the others.
He saw, things.
He was memory before spirit.

The primary.
The whistle of bone.
The plate of shoulder.
The possible pigment.

He could crush. He
Could skin. He
Could smash. He
Could tear. He
Could sacrifice.

He sits under that shelf,
Of rock, of cascading vine,
And stirs the ash of the dying fire.
Smears it on his chest, his cheeks,
Down to his penis.
The earthen bowl in his crotch.
A woman once sat there,
And she birthed a salmon.

The drums begin.
Bison appear. Red,
Black and ochre.
Manganese, bone, charcoal.
Daylight is a far whisper.
And the dark is alive.
The dark sings.

This is the time.
This is the solitude,
By necessity.
Now you’re a bear,
Now you’re the arrow point.
A sickness, a cry.

You paint. You drum.
You are that.
That thing that sings.
That thing that hunts,
And sits in sorrow,
And dances, like dawn,
The sky gone to flame.

Jelle Cauwenberghs