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Lingering behind
I watched as the others
Drove back to Expedition house
Over the soft and rolling Anatolian hills
And as I turned toward the darkening sky in the west
There appeared the last of the Kurdish diggers
Winding his way through the surreal and ancient humps
of Hilar rocks.
Village-bound he passed from the ten-millenia site
Past the cave-graves of ancient Christians
With their eternal symbols carved into soft limestone
And where only the bats remained in their rifled resting places.

Just below the mound of Cayonu
Lie the tumbled monuments of long dead Muslims
Where the old and enigmatic relics lay
bared to view;
A continuum of the supernatural.

Then as the sun plunged beneath the rock surround
This dead and most ancient village of Cayonu
With its tumbled walls and polished pink slab,
Its horns of long-extinct Bos and ritual skulls
Took on blood-red hues
And if one listened carefully
There were the undecipherable sounds of the dead.

ARW
1985

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