Monday, March 28, 2011

poetry snapshots: sarah james


In Dominica, an earthquake cracked

Roger’s home like a walnut.

His wife’s omelette pan skipped off the stove,

their bed hopped the floor, chairs

pirouetted into shaking walls.

But cotted snug in a box for their breakfast –

half a dozen eggs, unbroken.

Visiting his mother in Grenada,

a hurricane peeled her house like an orange.

Winds stacked roofs, turned

tamarind trees into mops, uprooted

nutmeg plantations but left the glass

of his daughter’s portrait a smooth,

unrippled ocean.

Half-submerged in New Orleans, Roger’s shoes

walked in pairs on water. Tables arked,

chairs waded out the doors

and dead rats trailed the apartment stairs,

while his daughter’s dress

hung freshly pressed on her bedroom door:

dry and pink with flowers.

Sarah James

From ‘Into the Yell’ by Sarah James, published by Circaidy Gregory Press ( ), July 2010.

Sarah James is a prize-winning poet, fiction writer and journalist, who has been widely published in anthologies, literary journals and online.

She was shortlisted in Templar Poetry 2009 Pamphlet and Collection Competition, had two poems shortlisted in The Plough Prize 2009 and was joint winner of the Exmoor Society’s Poetry Competition 2010. Her website and blog is at


Mavis said...

I really enjoyed this - I love the whole notion of contrasts and these are stunning.

my delayed reactions said...

Thanks, Mavis. I'm looking forward to getting to a reading of Sarah's one day, to hear more of her lively images.

Jingle Poetry said...


York Literature Festival HUB 2018 event, Tuesday, 20th March

I'm looking forward to my first event for absolutely ages - at the York Literature Festival HUB. Many thanks to YLF and Valley...