Footprints to the Past

A villanelle in response to imaginary garden with real toads – The Tuesday Platform

 

A simple flint tool left the world aghast,

unearthed on a crumbling North Norfolk shore,

led to fossilised footprints from the past.

 

Found on a coastline that’s receding fast

in the Norfolk village of Happisburgh,

a simple flint tool left the world aghast.

 

The Happisburgh Handaxe, amongst the vast

sands, seashells and fossils, opened a door;

led to fossilised footprints from the past.

 

Adapting to the harsh and wintry blast,

chopping and hewing forests of the north,

a simple flint tool left the world aghast.

 

Early humans from Africa outcast

discarded their tools on the river floor;

led to fossilised footprints from the past.

 

This axe was not the oldest or the last,

our Norfolk beaches yielded even more:

a simple flint tool left the world aghast

led to fossilised footprints from the past.

 

© Kim M. Russell, 2016

 

The Happisburgh Handaxe is approx. 500,000 years old and was discovered on Happisburgh beach in Norfolk in 2000.

Happisburgh Handaxe

Image found on www.northfolk.org.uk

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24 thoughts on “Footprints to the Past

  1. Aha, the villanelle as an educational tool! I enjoyed learning about this beautiful axe, and you succeeded in making the rhymes secondary to the content.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is my favorite section:
    “The Happisburgh Handaxe, amongst the vast
    sands, seashells and fossils, opened a door;
    led to fossilised footprints from the past.
    Adapting to the harsh and wintry blast”

    Liked by 1 person

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