We found the dinosaur jaw on Holme beach
the dog and I.
It must have been there years – obviously – but
we damn near recognised it instantly, though it was
half hidden in sand and mud.
How had so many wandered past
unaware? Probably too busy with
their binoculars and ‘scopes to
see what’s under their noses,
twelve feet long at least,
and still with such fierceness attached to it
I was afeard to go too close.
It wouldn’t have taken much
to wake it I don’t think,
though it must have been
sleeping these couple of million years.
The dog was jittery as a
loaded gun in the hands of a first-time bank-robber,
sniffing in, tail tucked, skin and bones taut,
then bouncing back ten feet a time
before sneak-thiefing back in again.
Where it’s eye was was full of barnacles
like a rim of fire,
the barnacles like expectant volcanoes.
And scattered round it red crab legs like lava streams,
torn from the carapaces by needy-eyed gulls,
slivers of flesh picked out,
and the odd empty shell,
as cleaned in an acid bath.
And still, the jaw bone of that unimaginable beast
lies on Holme beach, like the wreck of some old boat
fished out and carcass left for dead,
while the thousands of them wander past
like they see dead dinosaur jaws every day.