Thursday, April 2, 2015

A dream, a paleo-poem

Asleep, last night, a dream occurred... 
resulting in this roughly drafted Paleo- poesis:
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Laetoli songline
A mother walking, calmly, deliberately
a babe carried, not cradled in arm (suckling)

not in a sling (Khoisan: leather sling)
not in squared cloth wrap (Malay, Bantu)
not in net bag (Papuan) or back basket (Hmong)
not in papoose on cradle board(AmerInd)
as used on far future group treks
but She walked alone upright on two lower limbs
not low down on four with a "monkey" on her back

her babe sitting upright, bottom supported on arm,
babes' arms wrapped round her neck
as if climbing a palm tree

babes' mouth resting on mother's shoulder
babes' eyes looking behind

two eyes in front, two eyes in back 
and watched by antelope and fowl
they seemed a two-headed monster,
a bipedal version of
Dr. Doolittle's push-me pull-you 
able to see as well the tracks of the past
as the unpressed trail before her;
the mothers' gait a normal pace,
not too slow, not running, gentle rocking
in between tiptoeing and striding
relaxes her babe, no cries, awake,
aware, toothless yet fearless 
mother's melody synchronized
timed to shared breathing, hearts' beats
and unconscious swinging of footpads
babes' eyes open wide, sees something
moving behind them
mumbles "mmmaauu  mmaauu"
mother responds intuitively
"mmaauu mmaauu"? singing it
Xyambwa, the sabertooth cat,
goes still, unbreathing, confused
unable to see the normal attack zone,
the prey's rear and fly-swatting tail, 
Xyambwa can't attack the face,
a predator's code deeply embedded
a lunge from behind, claws to rip
a swipe at a tendon to prevent escape
a gripping noose round the neck 
with powerful jaws that clamp tight. 
But this one has no tail behind,
only eyes.
So Xyambwa waits and rests.
And Lucy walks onward towards
a mound of stone by a shallow pool...
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note: poesis(Greek) poetry of creation aka songline/dreamtrack/totemblem /poem
note: melody (melos(Greek): limbs)
note: mau (rimau(Malay): tiger, mao (Japanese) cat, simba(Swahili) lion, mbube(Zulu) lion


DDeden said...

This is a link to an excellent book on nomadic culture & history and especially on Australian Songlines/Dreamtracks/Traderoutes

Susan Burns said...

I have read that people in mangrove forests wear masks on the BACK of their heads so that tigers will think they are being watched.

DDeden said...

Yes, necessary to prevent attacks.

Note that wolves (and hunting dogs used by the Nemadi hunting caste of Mauritania) have a different method of attack, the leader attempts to clamp on the prey's muzzle while the others clamp down on the legs.

Note that Dr. Bob Brain, Anthropologist in S Africa thought that Sabertooths and hunting hyenas (which lived between S Africa and Ethiopia) may have cooperatively hunted primates (baboons, A'piths, Homo), the sabertooths cut but couldn't chew efficiently leaving plentiful carcasses, the hyena able to get the best scraps. saber tooth cats