OOPS: A Poetry and Prose Anthology

Status: Tentative 1--30 June 2022

  • Submissions accepted only via on line form (added to this page later). 
  • Submissions accepted from a former contributor or someone recommended by a former contributor.
  • Only one submission per poet/writer.
  • Poem may not exceed 38 lines (includes title author's name and a blank line prior to the poem) flash fiction should not exceed 325 words (bottom line is that the flash fiction must fit on a 5.5"x8.5" page with .5 top and bottom and .75 right and left margins)
  • NOTE: Contributors may purchase the book at a reduced rate upon publication. 
Old Mountain Press  will publish a collection of poetry by a number of poets.  Our goal is to gather enough quality poems and flash fiction for an estimated 50 to 90 page book with the theme to go with the cover (to your right):  Anything about rivers, oceans, lakes, water activities, costal people, the coast, etc. or spring/summer in general. OR a funny thing that happened to you. Would like to have as many poets involved as possible.  Requirements are below. Authors receive publishing credit and retain all rights to their work but agree to the inclusion of their poem in this collection of poetry.
  • Author must have rights to the poem (previously published OK, but not in an OMP anthology). 
  • Poem may not exceed 38 lines flash fiction may not exceed 325 words (this includes title, spaces, and author's name). 
  • Poetry lines that  exceed 55 letters and spaces will wrap and count as two lines.
  • Initially, only one poem/flash fiction per writer, so give it your best shot:-)
  • Sample title and first line below

Title of Poem/Flash Fiction
Author's Name

Begin poem/flash fiction



Upcoming Anthologies


About the book

Anything about about rivers, oceans, lakes, water activities, costal people, the coast, etc. or spring/summer in general. OR a funny thing that happened to you.


Before Dinosaurs

for Shelby Stephenson, who asked me…Why do you FEEL you do not like water?

     Jenny Bates


After watching "Creature from the Black Lagoon"

I never got deeper than my ankles in any lake or pond again.

Though I loved the sea in Devon, it was because

I could lean against the whole of England. I knew it had my back.

I grew up surrounded by the Great Lakes. Went

boating on Lake Avalon every summer.

Now, my feet shudder if they are not on terra firma.

I can’t ice-skate or ride escalators gracefully. I become

Alice fighting the Jabberwock after an ice storm.

I like to fly though. Must be my avian ancestors.

I came from no ocean floor. My curiosity

under waves became relegated to field guides.


I would move from pool to pool

as the spirit prompted

feed off dawn and dusk

a water haunter, fooling around

diving, rolling, racing—built to claw at mud.

Not a creature of the sea

Cambrian in my blood no Silurian for me.

Everything was under before the dinosaurs.

I need banks cradling, wild unfettered

river-willful and insistent as the Otter —

my evolution peaked.

So to liberate my fear! let me be an Otter living

between earthen boundaries —

slide over ledges, slip between boulders.

In night chilled air my breath

sends up a long cloud of white vapor turning

pink in the rays of the rising sun.

JENNY BATES, North Carolina. Member of Winston-Salem Writers. NC Poetry Society, NC Writers Network. Published books include, Coyote with Coffee (Catbird on the Yadkin Press, NC 2014). Visitations (Hermit Feathers Press, NC 2019). Slip (Hermit Feathers Press, NC 2020). Known local animal whisperer to Donkeys, Coyotes and Crow Folk. Jenny currently resides in Stokes Co., NC adjacent to Hanging Rock State Park

Danish Combat Swimmers Course

Tom Davis


WE HAD TWO British SAS sergeants going through the Danish Combat Swimmers Course with us. Everything you’ve heard about how tough these guys are, multiply it by five. We were preparing to hit the water to start the final 10K swim, and I could tell one of the SAS guys wasn’t quite himself. Brockelman told me that our SAS friend was coming down with pneumonia. He was wheezing and looked pale. I walked up to him and suggested that he sit this swim out. It would mean he’d not graduate, and he’d hear nothing of it.

     Ron Brockelman, my Team Sergeant, and I were the Team’s two strongest swimmers, so we normally were swim buddies. But for that 6 mile swim, I hooked into the SAS guy. We started out fine, but after a couple of miles, he began to fade. We were lagging back well into the middle of the pack.

     The Danes would pull up along side us in their rubber boat and ask if something was wrong. We’d wave them off. They knew about the pneumonia, but wouldn’t pull the guy out unless he asked. It eventually got to the point that he was of no help. In fact, he was barely able to kick enough to keep himself parallel to the surface. I finned on, determined to pull both of us through and not be the last ones in.

     We finally made it to the end and crawled out of the water. All the SAS guy said to me was, "Sir, you know I’d have done the same for you." No "thank you" was offered, and none was expected. I’d always held the SAS in high regard, but never more so than at that moment.

     The course ended, and after 3 month overseas we flew home to Ft. Devens, MA. Polly met me at the door of our duplex, Tee on her hip. I immediately reached out to him, but instead of holding out his little arms to me and smiling, he shrunk away, tucking his face into Polly’s neck. He didn’t recognize me. This moment is forever burned into my brain. Just like when I found out that Kennedy had been assassinated or when I heard on the radio that John Wayne had died. But I was home again. At least for a little while.

TOM DAVIS’ publishing credits include Poets Forum, The Carolina Runner, Triathlon Today, Georgia Athlete, The Fayetteville Observer’s Saturday Extra, A Loving Voice Vol. I and II, Special Warfare., and Winston-Salem Writers’ POETRY IN PLAIN SIGHT program for 2013 and 2021. He has authored several books. Tom, A retired Special Forces soldier, has completed his memoir, The Most Fun I ever Had With My Clothes: On A March from Private to Colonel. He lives in Sylva, NC.

About the Authors 


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