ISSN 1556-4975

OffCourse Literary Journal

 Published by Ricardo and Isabel Nirenberg since 1998


Two Poems by Charles Rammelkamp

Big Mouth

People laugh behind their hands
when I tell them I saw Sasquatch
near Dechambault Lake on a fishing trip
to Saskatchewan, a big, hairy ape,
lurching like Frankenstein’s monster
through the woods, swatting away
at birds way up the tree branches.
I was driving past, didn’t stop,
but I know what I saw, no mistake.

Later I called a CBC talkshow,
told them right where I saw it
staggering like a drunken giant.
They sent a  crew up there,
and damn if they didn’t find footprints
the size of tennis rackets,
snapped branches way up in the trees.
So now who’s the crazy one?

Still, I should have kept my mouth shut.
Now it seems like wherever I go
some wiseass is sure to ask,
“Hey, Bigfoot, seen any UFO’s lately?”

What a wit. 
Of course, they always get a big laugh.




“Life is absolutely dependent on the act of breathing.” – Yogi Ramacharaka, Science of Breath

In a forest clearing
outside the anonymous Belarus village,
miles from Minsk,
the Nazis dug a deep, wide trench
like a castle moat,
heaped the Jews into it,
then covered the living with dirt,
saving their bullets for the front.

The soldiers shot only those
who managed to climb out,
picking them off as they emerged
like pop-up figures in a penny arcade.

Later, the peasants reported the ground
rose and fell, rolled in waves,
like the sea,
for the next three days,
as people tried to dig their way out.
Or maybe they were just breathing.

Author Charles Rammelkamp is Prose Editor for BrickHouse Books in Baltimore, where he lives, and edits The Potomac, an online literary journal – . His photographs, poetry and fiction have appeared in many literary journals. His latest book is a collection of poems called Mata Hari: Eye of the Day (Apprentice House, Loyola University), and another poetry collection, American Zeitgeist, is forthcoming from Apprentice House.

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