HANDS

Inside a cave in a narrow canyon near Tassajara the vault of rock is painted with hands,
A multitude of hands in the twilight, a cloud of men's palms, no more, no other picture.
There's no one to say
Whether the brown shy quiet people who are dead intended
Religion or magic, or made their tracings
In the idleness of art; but over the division of years these careful
Signs-manual are now like a sealed message
Saying: "Look: we also were human; we had hands, not paws. All hail
You people with cleverer hands, our supplanters in the beautiful country:
enjoy her a season, her beauty, and come down
And be supplanted; for you also are human."

Robinson Jeffers
(1887-1962)
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© 2013 David B. Nance