North Norfolk Mammoth

My response to Jane Dougherty’s Poetry challenge #24: Cleave poem and  dVerse Poets Pub Open Link Night #169


At the feet of crumbling cliffs / Norfolk juts its chin at the North Sea

Below sand and gravel / stubborn and defiant as Canute

Deposited by glaciers / in the flattened landscape

Over a million years ago / from King’s Lynn to Great Yarmouth

Lies a cache of fossils / dominated by waves

Where a storm exposed / washing and wearing

Enormous bones / bleaching and baring

A male Steppe Mammoth / an ancient soul


© Kim M. Russell, 2016

e West Runton Mammoth died approx. 700,000 years ago; discovered and excavated between 1990 and 1995, it is now on display  in Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery.


 Images found on


33 thoughts on “North Norfolk Mammoth

    1. Jane Dougherty finds such interesting and diverse forms for us to try out. For this one I had to write the two poems separately and then put them together. It does mean being economical with words, cutting out unnecessary ones in order for the poem to scan and to make sense. Jane did say to keep the poems short and I can see why! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Jane. I volunteer at the local library and my Bounce and Rhyme group didn’t turn up yesterday morning. So I decided to do a bit of research on the local area to help with my mini project of photographing Norfolk windmills. I found a great little book called A History of Norfolk in 100 Objects and one of the first things I came across was the mammoth! I found another book entitled Norfolk Villains – Rogues, Rascals and Reprobates, which I can’t wait to read as I am also gathering information for a ghost story about a smuggler based on local legend. Some of it is grizzly stuff!


  1. Wonderful poem! You did such a great job with this form. I like how Jane put it about the treble and bass. Such a fascinating subject, too. Isn’t it funny that we both wrote about fossils–only yours was right in your neighborhood.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am familiar with the cleave poem and appreciate the challenges of writing two themes side by side ~

    Love the find of the ancient soul ~

    This is a lovely share Kim ~ Have a good weekend ~

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What an amazing discovery! And I really like the cleave poem…with two themes being developed side by side….I had never heard of that format before, but you worked it beautifully..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Mary. Norwich Castle has a wonderful little museum and an inspiring art gallery. That’s where they keep the mammoth’s bones. It’s amazing what can be found along our coastline. Further up the coast, not long ago, they discovered the Holmes Timber Circle, also known as Seahenge!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Brilliantly uncanny. I had some fun reading the two parts separate and then together. I like that the format forced me to read the poem as if it was a question and response piece.

    I might have to try it one day!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much. I’m on a bit of a local history trip at the moment – I was only meant to be doing some research for a YA novel I’m working on and I got carried away with it.The North Norfolk coast is so interesting and inspiring, I don’t think I’ll ever tire of it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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