Dungeness Beach

The intimate whisper
of the breaking wave
the ringing of the shingle
and a single rolling rock
colours change
as the sun dips
behind a cloud.
Subtle shift
gold to beige
green to grey.
The whisper roars
and the chill spills across the sand
as a sea bird
squeals and wheels across the sky.
The wind shifts
and lifts the cloud
the colours are loud
as the light
comes on again.

Liz Ferrets
Liz Ferrets battle​d​ her demons in a quiet Sheffield backstreet. Very sadly, Liz passed away last month. She was well known on the local spoken word scene and there is a posthumous collection of her work being published.

 

Teeth

We have to make room
she said with a woman’s hand
neither mother nor lover

shifting persistent teeth
as though my whole mouth
were not mine alone

Mine was a special case and
everyone wants to be special
And who knew that every tooth

I could ever own would want
to stay  behind nestled in the warm
ossuary among my gums

All that has grown and taken root inside
has never been ready to leave
Again I missed the chance to say

goodbye to each piece plucked from me
One. Two. Three. Four. And five
A clink in the dish, a rush of new blood,

a swollen mouth, a taste for metal
Did we make enough room?
It has never been enough

Teeth that seem to fit but I bite
pieces bigger than I should swallow
spit out words heavier than I

can stomach parting with You have an
impossible mouth he said fitting a hand
behind my teeth and working

its way down a throat that won’t let go
Feel how the whole mouth is
more than mine alone.

Ellen Van Benschoten

On the Effects of Gold

Would you silence a Patriot committee,
Touch their lips with this magic wand;
Through country and senate and city,
Tis the lock and key of this land.

Take a piece of this same from your coffer,
Display to the voter your pelf;
And the wretch, having nothing to offer,
Will frugally sell you —  HIMSELF.

‘Tis a shot for the fowl of all feather,
A bait for the guts of all fish;
To this ever gudgeon will gather,
And plumpt, ready drest, in your dish.

If the booby, your pupil, so dull is,
He scarce can remember his name;
Yet his mouth it shall open like TULLY’s,
When fed with a spoon of this same.

To a Rascal, a Bear, and a Blockhead,
Unconscious of mood or of tense,
This plastic receipt in his pocket,
Gives grace, figure and sense!

Old saints will for this sell their manuals;
O’er this, at your sovereign nod,
Old judges will skip like young spaniels,
And Cardinals kiss you this rod.

To study aught else is but nonsense;
From hence all Philosophy springs —
‘Tis the Crown, Beauty, Cause and good Conscience,
Of —  Priests, Ladies, Lawyers and Kings.

This poem, written by an anonymous Sheffield resident, was first printed in The Sheffield Register No 304, 29 March 1793. It appeared in a regular weekly poetry feature titled The Repository of Genius. These poems are currently the subject of a new digital anthology of protest poetry published in Sheffield which can be freely accessed at printprotestpoetry.group.shef.ac.uk.