. The Surgeon’s Photograph | London Progressive Journal
A non-partisan journal of the left.

The Surgeon’s Photograph

Sun 7th May 2017















The Surgeon's photograph was taken in 1934 by Dr Kenneth Wilson

and promptly published in the Daily Mail. It remains the most famous

image associated with the mysterious [Loch Ness] monster.  In reality,

vengeful big game hunter Marmaduke Wetherell had attached a wooden head

and neck to a child's submarine toy after the newspaper mocked his quest

to find the beast’
The Telegraph, 4 October 2013

Like a swimmer’s arm in mid-stroke,
the fingers pointed, as if a beak,
at the end of the neck’s hooked curve,
a dark swan and its shadow
drift across the photograph’s frame
making unhurried ripples in time.

Seen from the shore
or emerging from the mist,
it might just have caught your eye
as you hurried north to Inverness
or else left a question mark
unanswered at the end of the day.

But, cropped and placed on the front page
in between tea and buttered toast,
all manner of monstrous imaginings 
might surface and cause the sane man
to see demons in the shadows.  News
is news, after all, no matter its veracity. 

Choose, then, the path of true knowledge
or else prepare yourself for the scalpel
as you descend through waves of anesthesia.
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