Art as Communication

Houseboat, lithograph by Juan Miro

by Kevin T McEneaney

Neanderthals finger-painted in caves

lit by fire, using various plant dyes

for clothes: black, red, pink, or shades of ochre.

Jewelry was made of shell, bone, or stone.

Their black-dot markings might be numbering

of days, a simple counting procedure.

They traveled coastline in small wooden boats.

If there was a living Neanderthal,

and I could communicate with him/her,

I would show them Juan Miro’s painting

Houseboat with encircle ring black dots

(asymmetrical yet balanced to eye),

and try to explain flight from the Nazis

to Spain, homeland of the Neanderthals.

Kevin T McEneaney

Author of The Enclosed Garden, Longing, and other books