The Neolithic Watershed




Turning off the TV

I join the cat by the fire

To watch the last log burn to an ember.


Our cat is benign,

His eyes are closed,

His paws are crossed,

He bathes in the heat.


But I am drawn to the irregular flapping of the flames

As images emerge:

A bony wizened finger

The end of which glows like a red hot poker.

The face of a grimacing macaque monkey

With black hollow eyes set deep in its skull.

A white, miniature, fossilised ribcage.


Did our ancestors see such visions as well

To inspire what they saw as Hell?

As their children lay safe in their beds

Is this what they watched post-watershed?


Roy Hutchins
Illustration Nick Victor

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