by Ondine Evans


Collection item 3456: artefact, provenance unknown.


Material: wooden.


Shape: rectangular. Dimensions: 30cmx20cmx2cm.


This flattened object's surface appears striated,

Scored and scorched,


A multitude of lines,

Straight, circular, jagged, across and along the perpendicular.


There seems no pattern in these mute markings,

No suggestion of a latent cunieform, thus not a writing tablet of any kind.


Analysis shows a variety of substances embedded or infused into the surface.

These include: oleaginous and glutinous substances, some dust embedded that may be graminaceous in origin (wheat,barley,rice in varying quantity),

With a preponderance of vegetable oozings, represented largely by the genus Allium (indicating high usage of plants such as garlic, onions, and perhaps even leeks).


The evidence of burning suggests the application of hot objects, circular in nature.


One could venture, in the cool objectivity of scholarly endeavour, that this object, may have been kept at the centre of a dwelling,

The hearthstone if you will...


But it cannot speak of any more than the vaguest outlines etched onto its surface, that trace:


the first shared meal, cooked with/for a lover, straight out of the pot,

the first sandwich made by a child, wrapped awry in greaseproof and stashed hurriedly in a bag,

all the sliced bread, the chopped garlic, the vegetables for hearty soup, the countless raw ingredients,

the slicing, the carving, the chopping, the hours standing at the benchtop, hurrying or dreaming, sipping wine or stirring,

the intention to the reality, the recipe to the stove, the pot to the table,

the many faces looking up expectantly as the steaming food lands, the pot sizzling the wood (again).


You are a daily companion, a sure surface, a resting place.


I need you, you are the grain under my hands.