Archive for April 2020

Sarah James

The Poetry Village

The Rising Sun

Each year new smiles skim the water’s surface,
as light composes selfies in pools of shallow stillness.

Children race kites across the beach, chase balls,
or launch their bodies from rocks – in hope
of lifting skyward, though shadows tie their feet.

Skipping footprints leave a trail that can’t outlast
the tide, all traces wiped clear. In every scoured shell,
the squawk of swooping seagulls.

Rarely, on dawn’s shorelines: the drift and loop,
loop and drift, of an Icarus feather spun loose.

Sarah James is an award-winning poet, fiction writer, journalist and photographer. Her latest full collection is plenty-fish (Nine Arches Press) and she has a poem in Maytree Press’s  The Cotton Grass Appreciation Society inspired by the South Pennines. Her website is at

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Add comment April 30, 2020

Two Poems by Sarah James

Good Dadhood

The Nook and the Knack

Once my dad would have
looked out at my back garden,
sighed and grabbed his tools:
mowing, weeding, pruning,
smoothing rough edges.

The ivy’s spread started
with my shed. A light touch,
at first. One leaf, and then another,
until the string of hearts grew
clasping, clinging, binding.

Its hold rotted the timber,
collapsing the felt roof,
but the structure remained intact.
A green patchwork
created its own shelter.

Decades later, it’s still growing,
still homing woodlice, beetles and spiders:
sturdy against the rain,
glistening with sunlight
and entwining new flowers.

This year, an ivy heart
has reached the nook in our fir tree,
where I sit snug between sunlit
russet branches, nursing
my troubled thoughts.

The wrinkled bark reminds me
of Dad’s weathered skin,
the crook between his thumb and finger,
his firm grasp planting a sapling
or steadying a nail for his hammer.

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Add comment April 5, 2020

At White Lake


by S.A. Leavesley

White is not innocence. It is christening gowns wet with sweaty handprints as the crying baby is passed around like a fairground curiosity. It’s wedding dresses ripped by teetering backwards or stained red by broken glass and spilt wine. It’s snow hiding heaven knows what beneath — flattened grass, litter, dog shit. Even the moon knows better than to hope for smooth pureness, bears its shadows and craters, wraps itself in cloud.

On Bones, the flesh-eating maggots are whiter than the corpses’ skulls. Forensic anthropologist Tempy copes well with being “different”. Unlike me, or my six-year-old niece, Phoebe. Every week, my sister Janice sports another blue bruise and deeper-shadowed eyes. I wonder how long it will be before my brother-in-law turns his anger at Phoebe’s condition directly onto her. I’ve been asking Jan to leave Tom for two years now. Two years she’s been refusing, excusing…

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Add comment April 3, 2020

Two Poems by Sarah James

Add comment April 2, 2020






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