Cave Painting by Douglas Stewart


There are dark hands in the black rock

Man’s hands, woman’s hands, child’s hands hiding in a cave,

Shadows of hands but with such a living look

They seem to waver and beckon, they seem to move

In a language of gesture startling and piercing as speech.

Up from the green water here we clambered

Say the hands and the bodies of the hands, to hold and to touch,

And here we camped, and here we shall be remembered.


And they are so close and yet so far and wild


They seem to breathe and speak for all humanity

Who made their camp so, man and woman and child

And flowed with the green river down to infinity;

And beautifully and terribly they wave

In the black rock, like hands alive in a grave.