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,
eating up 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 were exposed by storms,
bared and bleached on a lonely wind-swept beach:
a male Steppe Mammoth’s gargantuan bones.
Later came the fishermen, farmers 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 limpets to eroding cliffs
waiting for the drop, teased by waves that weave
sea-tangle and beach debris:
severed heads of conduits, limbs of sea defenses,
rubble and concrete, and sandbanks
replaced with man-made reefs of granite,
while the village holds tight to nature’s hand.
Kim M. Russell was born in London, moved to Germany at seventeen, to Ireland in her mid-twenties, and has lived in North Norfolk, not far from the coast, for the last twenty five years. She has been writing poetry since she was a schoolgirl but only started posting and submitting to competitions and anthologies when she left teaching at a high school in 2014. She is a huge fan of Shakespeare, Seamus Heaney and Carol Ann Duffy. She posts poetry on her WordPress blog and is a host of dVerse Poets pub and Imaginary Garden with Real Toads. She has had poems published on-line on Visual Verse, Carpe Diem and Pure Haiku, as well as in the following printed anthologies: Poetry Rivals and Love’s Labyrinth (Forward Press), Afflatus Magazine and River Writes (Bure Navigation Conservation Trust), with another poem in The Anthology of Aunts due to be published by The Emma Press in April 2017.