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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 9, Number 2, June 2015

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Gerry Jacobson
Canberra, Capital Territory, Australia


The Edge

tanka
you are temptation
as dark as the soil
in my peatfields
as deep as my north sea

—Joy McCall

The track winds through dark woodland. I sense the clifftop close on my right. Pause at a lichen-covered tombstone. Almost illegible but is that date 1796? Just a few metres from the edge of the cliff.

On my left a fence encloses a grassy field. Hop over. A few sheep grazing. Crumbling remains of cobblestone walls. An English Heritage notice. This was a 1300s priory.

once the bell tolled
for compline and matins
now sheep pray
in cobbled ruins
there’s dog poo on the grass

The power and wealth of that old Church. And this is all that’s left of Dunwich, once the sixth largest city in England.

chamomile
flowers the clifftop
we sip water
gaze at the sleek
insidious sea

A gentle wave thump. It’s hard to believe. Beneath that steely-grey surface is an entire mediaeval city. Churches and graveyards. Palaces and shops. Houses and wharves.

global warming
sea level’s rising
soft coast receding
Suffolk’s dissolving
into the glugg

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