Finally! Another free verse poem on this site–“Evolution”

This poem was initiated by a remark I once made to someone I love; I told him he wasn’t a Neanderthal, meaning what most contemporary and not necessarily knowledgeable people would mean, i.e., that he had polished manners.  But then, later I remembered that scientists in more recent times have come up with the notion that the real Neanderthals were in the main a gentle and peaceable people, so it’s as much in justice to the Neanderthals as it is to ancient peoples in general and my friend in particular that I made up this poem.  And I was delighted finally to find that the poem agreed to be written in free verse, after all.  (N.B.:  In this poem, I use the word “lewd” primarily though not exclusively in its older sense, i.e., “untaught, unlearned.”)


A shy dweller in a cave
Peers forth at the sky,
Only disencumbered at the stone mouth
Of his harking back to the shadows.
His being, pained and gentle,
As if borne down already by the load
He must carry back to keep warm with.
So look you at me,
Your true sweet soul chilled and full of necessity,
Diverse paths before you, but none
You are eager to depart upon.
A glance, weather-eye upward
Then you commence
Leading me to hope that a smile or a joke,
A solar approach,
Will sweat out the heat of you,
Teach you the trick
Of loving yourself more,
Dreading the forest less
Where you may find more to sustain you
Than dripping stone walls and packed floor.
Still, I know that the asceticals we are used to
Often seem our only choice of direction
When night falls,
The wild calls are all around us,
And the sky lowers and promises nothing.
But step forth, while daylight beckons,
And try your skill at this:
Facsimilating your shelter
In the own arms of the trees;
And when night falls,
Call you out with the rest,
For you have forgotten
That you are one of them.
And in place of your lewd--read: unlearned--
Sketches on the cave walls,
Make your artifacts and rouse your voice
To songs of the sky and gods and demons,
For the sky loves you, and all its denizens too.

©Victoria Leigh Bennett, 1/14/17

I am rather fond of this poem already, though that may be for reasons aside from its quality, I don’t know.  Good night, and in cave or forest, sleep well!  Shadowoperator



Filed under Full of literary ambitions!, Poetry and its forms and meanings

2 responses to “Finally! Another free verse poem on this site–“Evolution”

  1. I had in mind the opening 2001: A Space Odyssey for most of this (the book version that is) but no monolith this time fortunately.

    Teach you the trick
    Of loving yourself more,
    Dreading the forest less

    This is something that we could all learn, it makes you wonder how long it will take this innateness to be exorcised from our being,

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