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Sunday, December 15, 2019


by James Penha

Mythical Beings May Be Earliest Imaginative Cave Art by Humans: The paintings on an Indonesian island are at least 43,900 years old and depict humanoid figures with animal-like features in a hunting scene. —The New York Times, December 11, 2019. Photo: A humanoid with a bird-like head was among the eight therianthrope figures depicted in a cave painting on the island of Sulawesi. Credit: Ratno Sardi via The New York Times.

I know an anoa
when I see one
even in the oldest
story ever told
on cave walls
in Indonesia. But
the humanoids who
herd or hunt or
beseech the buffalo—
an anoa is a buffalo—
I do not recognize:
they have beaks
and wiry tails;
they are lithe
for their age, for
forty-four thousand,
only now becoming
chips off the old
blocks of limestone,
a condition I share.

James Penha edits TheNewVerse.News from his home in Indonesia.