Palaeontologist Jones

I saw God’s bones.

We dug into the ontic ground
and found them there.

Whilst out shepherding Being,
we tripped over the tip
of the long submerged
jagged rack
of vast ragged ribs,
knowing not just what
that jutting upthrust hid.
And when we subsequently
did, post-dig,
we were thunderstruck
at their size and cried,
‘Thunder God!’

Dinosaur deity we deemed
him from the great beams
of his bones,
every man jack of us,
every Ali, Hsu, Zilliac,
Okafor, and Jones.

And all were awed
at the Shape
the bonework took.

Guess-assembling
with fear and trembling
from the globally scattered fragments,
some shattered, some close-grouped, some whole,
divine femur, tooth, ball joint, and skull,
every segment was pieced into place,
and our mysterium tremendum
only increased, for we faced
the unmistakable
poly-faunal skeleton
of Pan-Therion.

Rapt, we observed
that the lordly horns
and claws and fangs
were apt
for both predation
and protection.
Mega-organs and hide,
we surmised,
had been hot
with pumping life
and unturnable purpose.

The wingspan
wreaked us mute.

But no one could agree
on THE EYES,
the colour or contour,
the ‘look’
we felt
such meta-ocular engines of sight
would convey.
Would they blast you away
or ravish your heart,
tear you apart
or burn you crystalline—
what would it mean
to be seen
by such a Gaze?

We museumed, for fun and terror,
a full-scale model of the mighty Theo-Saurus,
whose head touched the sky
(open-domed the museum was).
It looked a lot like the stories, the texts,
the faith handed down,
the claimed experiences
(though competing sets of eyes
were displayed in alternation).

And some are now claiming
that from time to time
THE GHOST OF GOD FILLS THE BONES OF GOD
(the actual bones: the vacuum-vaulted
and camera-watched skeleton, not the replica)
and for an instant
they say
the deity rears up
in livid meat and mass.

And some claim a Voice
thunders from
the sudden-fleshed revenant
words of awful love
(heard crackling through
the monitor speakers).

Specialists
in protective suits
have gone in—
some confirming the reports,
others denying.
They’ve set up tests
and some say these detect
and others say they do not.

You can visit the simulations
at the Museum of Natural Theology.

Some knuckle-draggers, of course,
have been cave-art worshiping
the primate-ive deity all along,
behind our backs
and in the cracks,
openly, and yet
we had shut them out,
embarrassed for them,
though tolerant.

Ah! Forgive me.
Though I speak in present
tense with the immediacy
of the memory, this was all
long ago and I know
you Young New Worlders laugh.
Don’t worry,
I do too.

Image

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