Friday, 28 July 2017

A poem by Sarah James

I’ve stopped writing poetry because…

my children have eaten all the pens,
the mouse won’t click right,
my smart screen has frozen,
and the keyboard ‘e’  keeeeeps sticking;

because the days are too short,
while the nights not long enough, no-
where near in fact to the time
needed for recharging digital mind,
digital hands, handmade soul;

because in the small hours when I can’t sleep
instead of quiet space, however dark, however black,
there are tweets, instagrams, more tweets –
sunsets and memes of peace
next to the red of another shooting,
an unprovoked attack, or, on a good twenty-four,
a queue of racial/sexist/homophobic gobsmacks;

because the sounds from my tongue, fingers, heart
have no more weight now than thin air,
melt faster than a mouthful of snow,
buzz less than the fans’ spinning, the globe’s electric hum
growing louder, louder, #louder –
all other noise drops softer
than forgotten leaves on blinded sky-lights,
than the dead flies that line star-dust-shuttered windows,
than glass fragments cracking beneath my feet;

because something inside me snap-
ped like an old phone box where
the receiver’s a dangling handle   left hanging,
wires tangled,
                        pulled loose,
                                                hissing white noise –
whispers of meaning
                                    as ungraspable
as torn tissue in the wind;

because this is it –
nothing more to see or hear here,
just breathe…

because breathing through pain and thought,
words line themselves without me;

because…sometimes, there’s no reason.

Sarah James is a poet, fiction writer, journalist, and editor – fitting words around life, life around words as best she can! Her latest books are: ‘plenty-fish’ (Nine Arches Press, shortlisted in International Rubery Book Awards 2016) ‘Lampshades & Glass Rivers’ (Overton Poetry Prize 2015 winner) and a novella, ‘Kaleidoscope’. Her website is at:

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