Dinosaur Legs



What if you wandered
Down a supermarket aisle
And there, in a freezer

At the end, piled up
In polystyrene packets,
And wrapped in cling-film,

Was a selection
Of small dinosaur drumsticks.
Tastefully arranged,

Each with sharp talons?
Would you ask how they got there,
Or even how you’d cook them,

Should you bring them home?
What their flavour would be like…?
‘It’s like chicken, sir.’

An assistant says,
Hovering and reading your mind.
‘Yes, it’s dinosaur meat.

Hard to imagine, isn’t it?
But a popular line now.
Done genetically.

Hand-reared in a lab.
A science park quite near here.
Oh yes, it’s organic.

All locally sourced,
The customers prefer it.
Cuts down the air miles.”

“Where do they come from?”
“First, from dinosaur graveyards –
Ones that have been exposed

Thanks to climate change:
The permafrost melts, revealing
Huge dinosaur pits

Containing thousands.
So many people have flesh detectors now.
Don’t they? Food scarcity, see?

Well, then the DNA
Is popped into a petri dish
To grow into your lunch.

They’re very easy to catch.
They’ve not seen our kind before
They’re very trusting.

Lambs to the slaughter.
Give them a couple of ferns
And they’re compliant.

We call it when stock-taking.
Big ones, and bonsai ones

They’re all bred specially 
For supermarket freezers –
For your convenience.

Very high in protein,
‘Cause they’ve spent millennia
Grazing in Jurassic parks.

They’ve absorbed the lot,
Starting with primordial soup.
The tales they could tell, eh?!”

He turns one over,
“A very savvy food source,
Can only be good for you, can’t it?

Just think of it sir,
Billions of years evolving just to produce
Your microwaved snack.

It all goes to show
Humanity’s top dog.
And thank God for that.”

The Dinosaur leg
Looks flabby and rubbery.
Its flesh is hairless.

I stand there confused.
Am I now in some time-warp?
An unexplained crack

In the cosmic egg
Where everything runs backwards
And nothing is normal?

I stare at these piles
In the freezer compartment
Then look up and ask,

‘They come from the past?’
‘ Certainly do, sir. More choice
There, of course. Isn’t that right?

…Can I help you madam?’
He now moves onto someone else,
Who’s equally lost

In his corporation’s maze
Of endless fluorescence
Where anything goes,

And shrinking resources
Are leading to all taboos ending.
Will we eat babies?

I half hear a child:
“Did Jesus eat dinosaurs?”
Reality bites.

This spike in evolution,
With supermarket man eating souvenirs
From his own primordial past,

Was just a daydream,
There were no dinosaur legs.
It was a day-mare

Prompted by man’s
Morphing into a gorgon
And eating the planet whole.

A mad, bad fairy –
A sadistic Colossus –
Drinking up oceans;

Gnawing through forests;
Devouring every creature going;
Digging up rare metals;

Gouging them all out
For computer parts to get
To know himself better;

Opening up Earth’s rocks for gas and oil,
And poisoning the water and the air
That feed his lungs and blood,

Then discarding the planet
Like a rusting supermarket trolley,
Overturned and crumpled in a car park.

After the money raptors have attacked
This genius of an earth
And wrapped it in cling-film

And packaged every last aspect of it
And placed it in the deep freeze,
The enormity of what they’ve done

Will occur when the power is cut
And everything is defrosted
And is stinking to high heaven,

Cyberman, dying to plug into his cyber-hive,
And whine to the social media
About his impending extinction

Will waddle down the silent aisles
Of an empty store
As the ghost of a dinosaur erupts and growls.

Heathcote Williams



By Heathcote Williams

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