His canvas, gentle folds on cave walls,
A Paleolithic artist awakened the modern
Human soul. With lumps of charcoal, he
Aptly revealed the eternal connection of
Beauty, truth, and imagination, welling
Passions, talent to render living horses
On waiting stone.
Illuminated by dancing torchlights, the
Cave artisan moved from simple thought
To understanding an emerging world,
Its beauty, rare and transitory, to recollect
Life-like animal forms from memory.
From realized epiphany, austere walls
Of Chauvet dream cave mirrored life.
Head and shoulders, the panel of early
Horses, arranged side-by-side, stand as
If anticipating water from a clear pool.
Their primitive mane short, color and
Shadow are embellished with charcoal
And stone, imparting knowing moments,
Frozen for thirty-five thousand years.
The archaic equine images have modern
Familiarity, an appeal that bridled horse
To human, heart and spirit, one saddled
Being that takes to winds, galloping across
Glen and field, a nascent symbiosis and
Eloquent truth timelessly preserved since
Through his treasured drawings, the
Dream cave artists still lives. His lucent
Mind and charcoal-stained hands provide
The current era an enduring glimpse
Of his world, his appreciative eye for
Nature’s early faunal expressions, extant
Images neither lost nor forgotten.
For more information, see Werner Herzog’s documentary video “Cave of Forgotten Dreams.” Also see “Prehistoric Cave Paintings of Horses Were Spot-On, Say Scientists,” in Popular Archaeology, Volume 4, September, 2011.