Théodore Monod’s flan

Place some pastry in the flan-tray
in irregular masses, these
are the Precambrian mountain chains.

One fine day, while iguanodons
are blundering around in Picardy
and swarms of ammonites
are scudding around in the Parisian sea
a second tap is turned on again
and adds another layer,
this time of cream.
The sea re-invades a good part of the Sahara
and deposits the usual sediments —
Cretaceous and Eocene.

Gradually, the country comes to be
like it is today;
sprinkle with granular sugar
(fresh-water Quaternary deposits)
and icing sugar dunes.
Serve hot or chilled.

(From French naturalist Théodore Monod’s Méharées: Explorations au vrai Sahara, 1937)