Witness (OVP21) – Rougarou Magazine
A Cliff Hanger AB21
Those green rolling hills of old England.
Gorse edged, peppered with Buttercups,
Daisies and Willowherbs. Laced with
entwining endless tracks, charting
historic footfall from Romans to Franks.
Plummeting to the sea a sheer 350 feet.
A barrier to all Would-be invaders.
Down the coast awhile
a safe haven, open to all.
Ferries mingle with cargo ships.
Passengers mingle with tourists.
port officials, officiate.
Cars jostle with lorries.
While still further along.
In a small, secluded cove.
A rowboat overloaded
tips its cargo overboard.
No one hears the cries.
No one offers aid.
No one even knows.
And no one is missed.
Some things call to the past, to a nostalgia,
a loss. They call with majestic roaring
or small fish-mouthed silences,
oceans, regretful tears filling them full as fish,
a lonely barque drifting, only mysteries aboard,
wind-stripped blossom in a velvet eastern night.
We weep for what we have never known,
what we think we remember,
what we wish had been,
and the waves lap white and black stone
of cliff faces with their rough tongues rasped
like cats’, relentlessly, regretting nothing.
There must be one of those wonderful
german compound words for that feeling
when you unexpectedly miss a stair
and you get a surge of pain in your foot
Treppenschockfußschmerzen or something like that
Mein Deutsch ist nicht sehr gut
I get that when I’m in a tall office block
I get that when I see someone doing high-wire acrobatics
I get that when someone climbs out of the window to avoid the villains on TV
I get that when you show me pictures of cliffs
I worry what will happen if I stand near the edge:@
What if I get that intense pain
What if i faint from my postural hypotension
what if I stumble and lose my footing
What if I give in to my curious compulsive hyper-urges
Wie würde es sich anfühlen zu springen
So I stay indoors away from ledges,
dreaming of a bungalow
with rounded edges on the low coffee table to save my shins
and cushioned flooring for when I fall.
Treppenschockfußschmerzen – “Stair Shock Foot Pain” ( I made this up)
Mein Deutsch ist nicht sehr gut – “My German is not very good” (I am OK at google translate)
wie würde es sich anfühlen zu springen – “What would it feel like to jump”
Eroding Climate Confidence (AB10)
Even the chalk cliffs cry
out as the ocean razors
the coastline, basalt
mouth wrenched open
by winds, black eyes un-seeing.
Lynne Jensen Lampe
and we loved those walks
along the cliffs
watching the guillemots at Bempton.
Looking out to sea
past the chalk lighthouse
and the wireless telegraph station.
A precipice of nature
where reality meets the unknown.
North Landing is our favourite,
we climb down
into the bay
cobles discarded on the slipway
for the next high tide.
This is not in the tour guide
this is our secret place
our peace our sanctuary,
just for us
and the birds
a coast of infinite possibilities.
AB21, BB21, OVP21
There were no white cliffs,
no mountains, no peaks,
but we watched small boats bob
with our ponderings adrift
like eagles catching thermals
over river miles.
Small stars floated in my glass
the universe contained and at our fingertips,
I watched the clouds breathe, and
we walked along the canals
under azure expanse, hand-in-hand, no words needed—
the robins flitting from bough to bough
to sing our thoughts–
and later violet night enfolded us,
as we slept in her arms.
Merril D Smith
Trunk and branch, leaning;
Forced to warp by constant wind
Nature finds a way.
Old Cliffs (AB21)
Old cliffs of white, so very sad,
crumbled by waves of modernity
We don’t like change, it makes us mad!
old cliffs of white, so very sad.
And what is more, we’d all be glad
if they stayed like this for eternity
Old cliffs of white, so very sad,
crumbled by waves of modernity.
Bios and Links
Oormila Vijayakrishnan Prahlad
is an Indian-Australian painter, poet, and improv pianist. She is a self-taught artist who has been painting and exhibiting for over 20 years. Her work has been featured in several journals including Amsterdam Quarterly yearbook, Pithead Chapel, Two Thirds North, Kissing Dynamite Poetry, and Stonecoast Review. She has been nominated multiple times for the Best of the Net. She lives and works in Sydney on the traditional lands of The Eora Nation. Find her @oormilaprahlad and www.instagram.com/oormila_paintings
Sara Fatima Mir
Born on the 26th of July, 2007, in Islamabad , Sara Fatima is a Pakistani of Kashmiri origin. Gifted by nature with an inborn aesthetic sense, she is passionate about art. It is not just a hobby for her, rather it is a well settled heart and soul, way of life which inspires her to visualize the fine beauty and form in the world around. She has won numerous art competitions at school level. She is a natural artist and has completed the following two Courses : a) Graphic Designing -2020 b) Resin Art Skills -2022 from the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) Finishing School, Islamabad Capital Territory Pakistan. This learning has further enhanced her artistic skills . International Participation in Art and Poetry Project: Rucksack A Global Poetry Patchwork 2022 A Poetry Project by Ms Antje Stehn of Italy and Mamta Sagar of India. Sara made a Teapot with the help of dried teabags. A requirement .Its image is on display at the Poetry Museum Italy. Sara Fatima Mir believes Art connects people by portraying their lives. Different people, different drawings, different stories. Using all sorts of mediums, she flaunts her amateur talent and aspires to learn more to become the best version of herself. Please Follow her on Instagram @sketchfilez
is a Dorset-based poet and her writing is grounded in the Wessex landscape and history. Her debut pamphlet, A Landscape With Birds was published by Hedgehog Poetry in July 2022. Her second pamphlet, Transformations, will be published by Hedgehog next year. The poems are all inspired by the work of Dame Elisabeth Frink, the sculptor and artist.
based in the United States is a super self-critical Virgo, walking a path between worlds while dabbling in art, photography, and poetry. Poems have been featured in Failed Haiku, Cold Moon Journal, The Wombwell Rainbow, and Heterodox Haiku Journal, with art featured in The Hooghly Review, The Wombwell Rainbow, and Black & White Haifa/Haisha. Special thank you to Jerome Berglund for being my mentor and pushing me to limits otherwise unexplored.
Robert Frede Kenter
is a writer, pushcart nominee & visual artist with work in many venues, on line and in print, incl: Storms Journal, Anthropocene, Fevers Of, Acropolis Journal, CutbowQuarterly, Anti-heroin chic and many others, as well as books including EDEN (2021) a visual poetry collection, and Audacity of Form (ice floe press, 2019). Work in anthologies: Book of Penteract (Penteract Press, 2022), and Seeing in Tongues, an anthology forthcoming from Steel Incisors (2023). Robert is publisher & EIC of Ice Floe Press, www.icefloepress.net.
Swansea-based Jamie Woods is poet-in-residence at the charity Leukaemia Care. His work has been published in Poetry Wales, Lucent Dreaming, Ink Sweat & Tears and more. Jamie’s debut pamphlet Rebel Blood Cells is out in June, and can be pre-ordered from https://www.punkdust.com/shop
lives and works in southwest France. A Pushcart Prize nominee, her poems and stories have been published in magazines and journals including Ogham Stone, the Ekphrastic Review, Black Bough Poetry, ink sweat and tears, Gleam, Nightingale & Sparrow, Green Ink and Brilliant Flash Fiction. She blogs at https://janedougherty.wordpress.com/ Her poetry chapbooks, thicker than water and birds and other feathers were published in October and November 2020.
is from Swinton, Rotherham, in the West Riding of Yorkshire.
He says –
“We all have an urge to be creative
whether it’s art, poetry, music . . .
or just putting together flat pack furniture,
being creative keeps us alive and feeling human”
Paul gave up his day job 5 years ago to dabble in art, poetry and music, and hopes the passion in his Art reaches and touches the hearts of fellow humans too.
Merril D. Smith
lives in southern New Jersey near the Delaware River. Her poetry has been published in journals including Black Bough Poetry, Anti-Heroin Chic, Acropolis, and Humana Obscura, and anthologies, such as the recent Our Own Coordinates: Poems about Dementia (Sidhe Press). Her full-length poetry collection, River Ghosts, was published by Nightingale & Sparrow Press, and was a Black Bough Poetry Book of the Month.
Twitter: @merril_mds Instagram: mdsmithnj Blog: merrildsmith.org
is a writer from Chesterfield in Derbyshire whose ideas are heavily influenced by his background in the local coalfields, where industry and nature lived side by side. His first pamphlet “Heritage” was published in 2019. His poetic influences range from Blake to Owen, Causley to Cooper-Clarke and more recently the idea of imagistic poetry and the work of Spanish poet Miguel Hernandez.
Lynne Jensen Lampe’s
debut collection, Talk Smack to a Hurricane (Ice Floe Press, 2022) concerns mother-daughter relationships, mental illness, and antisemitism. Her poems appear in many journals, including THRUSH, Figure 1, and Yemassee. A finalist for the 2020 Red Wheelbarrow Poetry Prize, she edits academic research in mid-Missouri, where she lives with her husband and two dogs. Visit her at https://lynnejensenlampe.com; on Twitter/Spoutible @LJensenLampe; or Instagram @lynnejensenlampe.
lives in South Yorkshire and has been writing poetry all his life. He is an active member of the Read to Write Group and has performed his poems at a wide variety of venues including CAST in Doncaster. His poems have appeared in several anthologies.
He is an admirer of Edward Thomas. His collection “The Story of Soldier A” was published by Glass Head Press in 2022. His self published pamphlet “The Nantcol Sonnets” both are available on eBay.
The author of ‘Postmarked Quarantine’ has eight books to his credit. He is a journalist, father, and the editor of ‘Words Surfacing’. His works have been translated into twelve languages.