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From: Vol.06 N.02 – Intersecting Energies


by Frances Presley




‘The northwest, abrupt corner of Norfolk, staring out

across the Wash, at Boston Stump’

                                                                         R.H. Mottram, 1948


black & white photo                         sheer cliff


upper layer                       white chalk

lower layer                                       dark chalk & sandstone


jagged slabs at the base                             one tall and vertical

I confuse with the Stump


white face

black profile




Is this my landslip

terra infirma

her terra form [a]

I will not find a shot

of the perfect vertical

no sun      no contrast


northwest Norfolk

is more abrupt


ab rupture

and each new rupture

leading out of


chalk walks              chalk entails and entrails           the horizontal


fresh white chalk flow              reverting to         white wing signal

do not lift the cover         albino toad           or it will turn to stone

ossified           brutalized                specialized


try colour:

lava flow                                                             red iron     stain chalk

brick work of Brexit            these bricks will all melt    and return

tired of reformations         and refurbishments                    kissing

not allowed          across coasts                           lest it be headlined

the kiss of death


no medusa           a soft flow face        distorted                   maimed

monstrous       elephant               woman                        in the room

with one eye              and toothless              not entitled


razor shells                         rounded brush strokes

concave enclave                monumental wings


spectral wind turbines                          stare back across the Wash

translucent fungi

Hunstanton cliffs

October 2018

Published: July 2019
Frances Presley

lives in London. Major publications include Paravane, 2004; Myne. 2006; Lines of Sight, 2009; An Alphabet for Alina, 2012; Halse for Hazel, 2014, which received an Arts Council award, and Sallow, 2016.  Her new book Ada Unseen concerns Ada Lovelace, daughter of Lord Byron, mathematician and computer visionary.  Presley’s work is in the anthologies Infinite Difference (2010), Ground Aslant: radical landscape poetry (2011) and Out of Everywhere2 (2015).

An Australian and international
journal of ecopoetry and ecopoetics.

Plumwood Mountain Journal is created on the unceded lands of the Gadigal and Wangal people of the Eora Nation. We pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and to elders past, present and future. We also acknowledge all traditional custodians of the lands this journal reaches.