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Sarra Culleno

Sarra Culleno.jpeg

© Sonya Smith

the poet

Sarra Culleno is a British writer, mother and English teacher. Author of Bonds: A Short Story Collection, Sarra has had her fiction and poetry published widely in print, as well as performed in audio-dramas, podcasts and on radio. Longlisted for the Cinnamon Press Pamphlet Prize and the 2020 Nightingale and Sparrow Full Collections competition, Sarra was also nominated by iamb for Best of the Net in 2020. She's a frequent contributor to Fevers of the MindAlternative Stories and Fake Realities, and co-hosts Write Out Loud at Waterside Arts. Sarra also performs as both a guest and a featured poet at numerous literary festivals.

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the poems

Eidolon Tolling

00:00 / 01:03

The running tap might pour pounding froths of furor
over your divested protests, drown your clamour.
I cannot help but imagine your loud discord.
Yet, when I check in, you're sleeping sound, mi amor.
There's always your call-to-arms from another room.
Conjecture presumes your disinherited roar,
for fear your alarm may be sucked up by vacuum,
your tumult aches covered with crackling hiss of chores.
When hurly-burly bubbles from kettle rise up,
under din, your siren alerts. It's like sad cats.
If the rumble lasts too long for either of us,
I hallucinate pealing cries bringing me back
to small, smarting pangs of your dissonant phrases,
vibrating dispossession, under white noises.

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Paradise Found

00:00 / 01:50

A spot in her garden is perfect for placing
my face, so it's under her fig tree’s shading.
On terracotta tiles my legs are sunning,
as busying bugs buzz to jasmines, unstopping,
while gusts from honeysuckle perfumes are puffing
sugary breezes somehow, to me reaching.
Persepolis’ Paradise, here a patch cultivating,
by medlar and quince trees of home she is growing
in the changing climate of England’s permitting.
As if in the East, are passion fruits clinging
over her washing-line leisurely draping
under which we sit, her mint-teas a-sipping.
On the horizon, Wembley’s Arch is bridging.
On Harrow’s Hill, St. Mary’s spire’s soaring.
Zooming Heathrow planes are low-flying.
Bakerloo Line tubes behind bushes are swooshing
like waves on an island resort softly washing
rhythms ebbing, breaking, to-ing, fro-ing.
I don’t know names of the colourings bursting
through her lush greens, first hiding then popping,
but I know how to keep from missing by blinking,
printing the strobes of my camera’s shuttering
each butterfly’s poised cameo fit-for-Vogue-ing,
saving frame by frame my memory’s capturing,
for when in the future my dementia’s time-hopping
my infirm finale laps here will be looping.
I hold it, the moment clear for reliving,
rooting in her happy blooms, I’m promising.

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00:00 / 01:08

We enjoy our surface soapy membrane.
Here, it is right and just to rove our sights
over silky swirls of coiling spectrum hues,
distance what’s inevitable, beneath and above,
of happy's precarious precipice:
on this bubble's thin skin.

We breath honey scents from where
the detergent's aroma is most perfumed.
In big aeroplanes we wave stamped passports.
Cornucopia shelves thrive shops and sweet spots.
We gulp manna's syrupy foremilk till full to rest.
Tête-à-tête, we eskimo-nose loved freckles
close enough to see with bare eyes,
then we sleep like babies.
At this lucky alignment

the satin sheets are slippery.
The layer in-between is rendered
in fragile-gifts,
so one touch
is the end.

Publishing credits

Eidolon Tolling / Burst: exclusive first publication by iamb

Paradise Found: Places of Poetry

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