Throwing Flowers
by Joy Hewitt Mann

    On the sheltered surfaces of cliffs
    and rock faces, Stone
    Age painters redrew the world:
    red from ochre
    black manganese
    white from the droppings of birds
    and splashes of brown at intervals
    blooming like prehistoric roses, shades
    layered into relief by
    the ancient hands.
    There is a secret symbol there, I feel,
    and snap pictures madly.


    The Irangi have grabbed my camera
    promising it back for fifty shillings.


    A suitable goat is needed to appease the gods.

    While the elders dine happily on
    roast goat
    I contemplate the paintings
    and the gouts of blood
    they have thrown between the figures.


    There is a secret symbol here, I feel,
    snapping pictures madly.






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