I live in Tucson with my wife Jane, a watercolorist, and with our dog, Irish. Our son Chris, writes for screen in L.A. My more recent work has appeared in The North American Review, The French Literary Review, Verse Daily, Innisfree, and others. My most recent collections are Transversales (BlazeVOX, 2013,) and Selected Poems (FutureCycle, 2016). I enjoy writing articles and reviews and these may be found in Jacket2, The Edgar Allan Poe Review, NAR, and The Kenyon Review, C. V. Mosby, Times-Mirror, and Allyn & Bacon Composition Series.
Here is the human touch
without which no thing could be
said to exist.
In the old caves—Chauvet, or say
Cueva de las Manos—hands follow
contours of rock to describe themselves
in stencil and print, with chalk
and charcoal, with polychromatic
ochres, and always with some touch of pink.
The ancients used slick swells of stone
walls and ceilings to give the impression
of moving upward in the flickering light,
often found in recesses absent
of any forms of human life
as if yearning had no body.
The images of open hands, hands held high
a universal sign we might otherwise find
in the elementary school, or say
out on an open highway,
a conscious act of attention,
a reaching out, trying to touch
something just out of reach, as if
to save this impression of themselves,
their yearning, or to invite others,
future hands, to join them,
a community, as if they did not wish
to enter the unknown alone.
© 2018 Michael Gessner
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