Hotel Naledi. A Poem by Robin Ouzman Hislop

Hotel Naledi

where	where	O Naledi
a million years before they came
here	on the southern savannah

                   creature of berry	wood	bone & antelope

had you always haunted
the subterranean world as a sepulchre
with your charred offerings 
                   and your dead   or was it just when they came
bigger brained with their sticks & stones

you do not often see each other
you can evade them from the plain
like you they roam in groups
thirty	forty	no more
                                    you can hide	you can conceal
                                      but sometimes come the raids
                                       the raids of the newcomers

you twist & writhe	wriggle & crawl
on your belly	on your back
through the cavernous fissures of the dark earth

                                    torwards your terminal chamber
                                  together with your contaminated dead

so many moons have passed
more than a hundred years
but what is time on the savannah
they grow strong	you grow weak
                 they are a different germ	it won’t be long

this is your shroud
you are bound to the savannah
& they will go on
                                   a million years will be forgotten

& now here in the Dinaledi den
we uncover your fossilised remains
we remake your skeletons
transport your mummified effigies   		into our age

our brains blew up & shrank back again
though yours tiny as it was
had done as much before we came

                                    but perhaps ours was the disease
                                       that put the world to flame 

Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times ; at his publications include
All the Babble of the Souk , Cartoon Molecules and Next Arrivals, collected poems, & Moon selected Audio Textual Poems available at as well as translation of Guadalupe Grande´s La llave de niebla, as Key of Mist and the recently published Tesserae , a translation of Carmen Crespo´s Teselas.
You may visit Robin Ouzman Hislop about author. See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)