Beachy Head

(Beachy Head is the highest chalk sea cliff in Britain, close to Eastbourne, along the East Sussex Coast. It is a popular tourist attraction, with many walking routes, and is also one of the most common suicide spots in the world.)

Born of the ooze of the deepest ocean
then lifted through its sunlit surface,
I stand with the skies,
waters separating me from myself.

Seams of flint etched upon chalk 
knowledge before knowledge
before perception
before thought.

Sight, sound, all sensation,
the breath of each ancient one
become my memory, my wisdom, my intuition.

You explore my shores and hills
and the landscape of your being.

Your sadness
always the weight of your sadness
weeps down every crevice and crease
seeps down every column
even in the occasional ripple of your pleasure.
Each flint digs a deeper stab of pain.

I do not know 
what you seek 
in my contours, my calligraphy.
The perfection of Plato’s forms?
Some mathematical truth, with no room for doubt?
Distraction, escape, meaning,
your place in time and space
in the tangible world
and in the other?

I do not speak.
Your mind can show you what you need
as you stand
poised upon my crag.

I only stand,
in absolute attentive presence, 
with what is,
beyond examination, explanation, or answer. 

by Poonam Jain

Poonam Jain has always loved reading, but came late to writing. Her poems are an exploration of her own spiritual journey, as an Asian woman living in the UK, and her response to social injustice, based upon experience of social work, counselling, and of life. She performs her poems regularly, but is now seeking to have a wider audience and to build up a community to share feedback and support. Find her at