I found you in the zoo shop – held you in my palm

as history-etched whorls spiralled round my mind.

Your name was poetry rolling from the tongue:


The sales assistant said you were common, two-a-penny.

Undeterred I brought you home to compose your poem,

condense eras into stanzas,

imagine you octopus-like, stalking your prey,

swishing through cretaceous seas

while dinosaurs stamped the shore.

A meteor’s impact wrote you in rock.

Unfolding years saw you written in history.

In ancient Greece they named you Ram's Horn

after Ammon their ram-horned god.

You appear in folklore as serpent stone, snakestone.


Perhaps you were a Whitby snake

coiling and sliding the shore until that day

St Hilda walked by, turned you into stone.

Ammonite, silent, white, two-a-penny,

cool in my palm.

I settle to write your poem.

Symbols of Sacrifice

Poppies in their prime;

fields of them parading.

A uniform design to show

what they’re made of.

Will we ever learn

to still those ill winds

that blow through them,

lay them flat?

Pam Moyle lives in rural Cheshire. She is a retired clinical nurse specialising in drug and alcohol dependence. A member of Chester Poets, she won their national poetry competition in 1983. Pam is the co-founder of the Re-Act Drama Group which uses poetry, music and drama to destigmatise mental health issues. She has been published by Peace and Freedom Press,Chester PoetsPoetry Press, Frank Latham's History BooksCheshire County Council, Cheshire Life and Cheshire Vista.

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