in a mist that rolls along the North Sea coast.
Looming through thousands of years, woolly mammoths
weathered waves on a journey to extinction.
Among mounds of stones and sand at the foot
of crumbling cliffs, where Norfolk juts its chin,
waves roll out and crash back in,
devouring the coast from Yarmouth to King’s Lynn.
I cannot forget what I have never known
but still wonder how it was when spring tides
crashed and roared below the behemoths
shambling towards the brink.
Fossils cached by glaciers exposed
by storms lay bleached
on a lonely wind-swept beach:
a male Steppe Mammoth’s gargantuan bones.
Later came farmers, fishermen and lighthouse keepers,
local people and holiday makers
who fell in love with roaring ocean echoes
and the changing light of Norfolk skies.
Now the village clings like a limpet
to eroding cliffs, teased by waves
that weave sea-tangle and beach debris,
waiting for the drop:
severed heads of conduits, limbs of sea defences,
rubble and concrete, and sandbanks
replaced with man-made reefs of granite,
while the village holds tight to nature’s hand.
Kim M. Russell, 24th January 2019
My response to Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Climate Change
This week Susan says that so many global statements have been made about climate change that the challenge is to write new poems that are different, personal and specific. She’d like us to amplify an aspect of the world so that others can see it too; whatever our politics and moral positions are when it comes to climate change, she wants to see details, the evidence of our senses, time and spirit.
I’ve linked up with a poem I wrote back in 2016, which has been revised several times, and is all about the effects of climate change on my little corner of the British Isles.