My voice is profane in this cavern
with soaring abutments, adorned
with the creatures whose bodies
created the hills and streams,
who fed their descendants,
wedded the land to the sacred.
How would I understand this place
if the beacons and shelters
I come from had never existed?
The ochre and lime on these walls
were crucial, though left alone
perhaps for years at a stretch,
enduring until the guardians came
to see, to remember eternity,
to replenish their equilibrium.
My mind’s eye conjures
a poor imitation of those
who found nourishment here—
alone, but embraced by vastness,
their every tread reverent, assured.
But the radiant stillness casts
me adrift, reminds me of my
unknowing of time, my intrusion
on ageless terrain.