(On caves near Cantabria, Spain)

By Connor Yeck

Burnt herds clung galloped against
the tawny rock: shade of copper, wine,
sun-roasted skins; creased tints of old
smoke veined deep, red in ruddy stone.

See the makers’ powdered hands: blown
prints who did crush, dry, flay, & grind,
till a wreck of young years sat dust upon
the caving floor, mark of tool & task.

Shell, horn, tooth. Prize white-nook tibia.
Cooked in flames, cracked mouth-open;
mixed & rolled by measured palm – the art
of it, as could be true called nothing else.

In carmine & dung umber, charcoal, salt
from blue glass coast – fats churned to oil,
pigment, hue & tone, modern phrase now
violent, spread color against a storied wall. 

Precise, genteel, urbane; words offered by
Spaniard, Frenchman, hosts of culture who
front rushing doubt, blunt calls of forgery:
no half-man, no slope-nosed cro-magnon

could make such a thing: the excellence
of the scarlet pack is far too fine. Bison,
boar, wild horse. Stroke of figure, strutted
hoof – yet it is here, in heated blur, in authors’

reddened fingers whose sounds of charging
life: more recollection, than dream.

 


 Altamira Art

"Altamira" by Samantha Amstutz

Samantha Amstutz
Altamira
Mixed Media

 

"Altamira" by Ziwei Jiao

Ziwei Jiao
Altamira
Mixed Media

 

"Altamira" by Jesse Sanderson

Jesse Sanderson
Altamira
Mixed Media

 

Photos courtesy of the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum and Rachel Baumgardner.