Counting ribs

Fleshed on bone and dressed
in charcoal cloth
he’s still more neolith in awe of winter solstice
lying sleepless listening
to lightlessness of night
or a lovesick chimpanzee,
in how he looks at skin of his and hers.
He finds it cold
and probes
with bony fingers as he counts his ribs and hers and
wonders why —
he always gets the same.

He studies bones of apes and
sees again,
comprehends that being man is neither being
pinnacle nor creation.
He opens up a bottle of his best Bourgogne
and drinks himself into a stupor in
deception of supremacy.

Reginald Southey
by Lewis Carroll (1857)

Kerry inspires us to write with a single photograph at toads again. This I could not refrain from think about the stories of creation vs that of evolution. I will also link this to Poetry Pantry tomorrow morning.

December 2, 2017

25 responses to “Counting ribs

  1. or a lovesick chimpanzee,
    in how he looks at skin of his and hers.
    He finds it cold
    and probes
    with bony fingers as he counts his ribs and hers and
    wonders why —
    he always gets the same.

    — I just love how you’ve worded this, it’s placement in the poem, the entirety and wholeness is this – it speaks of the delusions and illusions we believe in our questioning, our need to reign supreme.

    Wonderfully rich piece Björn!

  2. That ‘deception of supremacy’ is the Achilles’ Heel of the human race. “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.”

  3. Oh I love this Björn.
    How Man(human?)kind deceives himself, believing himself the supreme beast…knee deep in primordial soup…as he destroys all and ultimately himself…
    Anna :o]

  4. One word. Wow!❤️ The theory of evolution works so well with this picture! I sometimes wonder if the theory might be more complex since some genes have spread independently between distantly related species. Especially this; “he’s still more neolith in awe of winter solstice” is brilliant! 🙂

  5. We have fell for a false sense of supremecy since the dawn of man. And use both science and religion as our justification for that position.

    Agree with Victoria on that synesthesia. Very cool poetic tool.

  6. I really like your angle – the pensive man considers his antecedents, weighs them against fable and drinks away the difference. Very astute.

  7. Does the aged librarian have a curator or anthropologist brother?
    I like the title, Bjorn, and the way you describe him as:
    ‘Fleshed on bone and dressed
    in charcoal cloth
    he’s still more neolith in awe of winter solstice’.
    You’ve given him a particularly creepy side in the lines:
    ‘…probes
    with bony fingers as he counts his ribs and hers and
    wonders why —
    he always gets the same’.

  8. So much sharp and stark imagery in this piece – it suits the cold (for some) realization that we are not the center of all things, and just one small player in a larger epic.

  9. Sometimes drinking one’s self into a stupor is an appropriate response to the unsolvable mysteries of life.

  10. So impressive, Bjorn. Neither pinnacle nor creation … deception of supremacy … phrases to remember!

  11. kaykuala

    and drinks himself into a stupor in
    deception of supremacy.

    Was it a conscience pricked upon the discovery of the deception?. Mysteriously brilliant Bjorn!

    Hank

  12. I like the ring of charcoal cloth and Winter Solstice and the idea of lying sleepless listening to lightlessness of night.

  13. We have some leaders who don’t lead but try to convince themselves and us that they are great. They lead, aka rule, as if their subjects all love them while in actuality only a few have selected them. They completely forget the masses.
    ..

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