Robert Charles Howard

(26 DEC 1943 / Wyandotte MI)

Mastodon Hunt


Spear shafts splintering beneath its collapsing hulk,
the mastodon crashed to the earth,
roared its final lament and fell silent.

Shouts echoed across the ravine.
Dark-haired Clovis hunters converged:
stripping the hide,
carving the flesh.

Others circling the carcass,
traced broken shafts to flint;
gathering them for tomorrow's hunt -
retrieving all save one.

A triumphal fire hissed and snapped,
hurling heat and smoke
high into the mid–day sky.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The archaeologist knelt to the ground.
Heart racing, he scraped dirt from flint,
brushed away millennia of dust
and raised the projectile to the sun shouting,
'Clovis point! '

'Clovis point' - a revelation in the dust:
found inches from the bones of its prey.
Khaki and blue jean clad hunters gathered quickly
to read the epic written in flint and bone:
mastodon and Clovis united by the point of a spear.

Submitted: Sunday, July 23, 2006
Edited: Wednesday, August 18, 2010

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  • Ben Gieske (6/29/2008 6:26:00 PM)

    Excellent use of s and c words. I can hear the slicing and the chipping or the bone. Full of images to satisfy the senses. I like the contrast between the roar and the silence. (Report) Reply

  • Elysabeth Faslund (7/12/2007 11:44:00 AM)

    Oh yeah...this is a treasure! Two bands of hunters separated by 'Clovis years'. One band leaving the point, the other retrieving it. Hunters all the same. You do this type of writing so well indeed! ! Clovis points are so beautiful, almost delicate...too bad the knapper couldn't have signed his work! Excellent! ! ! xxElysabeth (Report) Reply

  • Goldy Locks (6/19/2007 1:03:00 PM)

    Unfamiliar with the subject matter. however, this was engrossing and amazing. How do you write it so well - transcribe it to the reader intoxicatingly: narratively, poetically. best care, sjg (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 0 Points Chuck Audette (2/12/2007 10:26:00 PM)

    Vivid write and a lovely parallel with the hunt of modern archeologists in the final stanza. -chuck (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 0 Points Joseph Daly (8/24/2006 6:37:00 PM)

    This is outstanding. I am not familiar with the subject and it is great that you dont have explanations cluttering up the page. Get the buggers to work, I say. I will get to familiarise my self.

    There is a wonderful sectioning off of the narration and a strong, almost religious, feel to the piece as a whole. I read this a few times and felt it to be a fine inspirational piece each time. (Report) Reply

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