Random Scribbles · writing

Teachings of the Ancients


Photo courtesy of Barbara W. Beacham
Photo courtesy of Barbara W. Beacham

The petroglyphs told the story of an unusual event.
They told of a time long before we declared war on the white man,
the war that we lost.

The petroglyphs depict the arrival of the goat head men from the sky and show how they taught our ancestors the mysteries of the universe.
The goat head men spoke to us of spirals, and staircases; even spiral staircases;
they taught us how to hunt house cats with butter knives,
and they revealed the shape of Illinois.
Most importantly they taught us how to skewer a hot dog with a stick allowing even the simplest of us to cook over a campfire without burning our fingers.

Or perhaps, Grandson, perhaps – the petroglyphs depict none of this.
Perhaps they simply offer a glimpse into the mind of a sleepy sentry.
A guard, standing watch on a warm summer night,
writing poems with pictures,
trying to stay awake.


23 thoughts on “Teachings of the Ancients

  1. YOU, my friend, are on a roll today. And because if it, I’m gonna sit this one out (“We are not worthy!”). Fun, fun and fun!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So true, so true. And two scholars with similar backgrounds can look at the same specimen and return with disparate interpretations. Funny, how that works.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Whenever I see artifacts from a dig, I always wonder if we are even close to accurate about what they are. We say it’s a “religious object” and for all we know, it was a kid’s toy. Or a kitchen tool. If the ancients dropped back to see our museums, would they laugh themselves sick?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Very nicely done TN! I love the two explanations. Thanks for another contribution to the MFtS challenge. Are you “game” for the next one? 🙂 How is that for a tease? Be well… ^..^

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The ambiguity of what we perceive when viewing such artifacts is what makes it fascinating. Love the final lines… perhaps is is just a lonely sentry marking time. Well done!


  5. That middle paragraph is one of those flights of fantasy (feeling so spontaneously creative) that I always wish I could write but usually can’t.

    Good stuff. I like being jealous about what I read.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You have illustrated perfectly how our personal situations can affect our perceptions of everything. Thanks for coming by and reading Suzanne.


  6. This is superb. Having enjoyed one summer in Arizona with an archaeologist, gives special meaning to some of these lines. I especially like the term sleepy sentries. I recalled some pictographs in Arizona’s White Mountains.


    1. They are all over Arizona, West Texas, and New Mexico. Painted Rocks near Tucson is a good place and 3 Rivers in NM is a wonderful spot as well. I love ’em.

      Liked by 1 person

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