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Sarah Connor



the poet

Poet Sarah Connor lives in Devon, England, and is a past nominee for both The Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. Her work has appeared in numerous anthologies and magazines, and she's published two full collections of poetry: The Crow Gods and The Poet Spells Her Name.

the poems

Stumbling on Beauty

00:00 / 00:50

                        That summer, I became adept

                        at finding beauty. I reached out

                        for it – the clean-scrubbed nails

                        on the nurse's fingers. They were beautiful.

                        The green flesh of an avocado;

                        a spider's web, caught in a hedge –

                        all beauty. I held it like a trophy.

                        I was so greedy for the loveliness

                        of a child swinging in a playground,

                        of a light caught in water

                        of a bird turning on emptiness –

                        I collected it, collated it, I held it tightly,

                        threw it high, up into the air, like 

                        cherry blossom or confetti, like the light

                        that shatters through the branches of a tree.

The Red-haired Girl

00:00 / 02:20

            Bobby Sands died. That's how old I am.

            Bobby Sands died, and the red-haired girl died too,

            two days apart – so now, when I discuss

            the hunger strikers, I still feel

            that gush of anger, that someone could just die.

            We'd been in a school play together, her and I,

            the Redhead. As if her hair defined her.

            Perhaps it did. I think now, that hair might have been

            her mother's first loss, the first thing

            she mourned.

            Somebody dropped out, so we

            both moved up a notch, theatrically.

            I became the mother, and she 

            became the governess. A comic part. 

            I wanted to play tragedy back then.

            The father was a guy called Tim.

            He wore white jeans. Went off and joined the Met.

            The Metropolitan Police – so that maybe

            when I was down in London, doing all that

            student stuff, making my way in party clothes

            at daybreak through the empty city streets,

            and knowing this was how my life would always be,

            if I'd been picked up for some minor crime,

            or been the victim of an unprovoked attack,

            so guileless in my tawdry party clothes –

            it could have been him that I dealt with.

            And maybe he was at Orgreave. So while I was

            layering on my eyeliner and putting change

            into the miner's tin, he was up there,

            sticking in his boot. So far apart

            we drift, just spiders, really, riding threads.

            When my hairdresser shaved my head, she cried, and

            an old lady sitting next to me reached over –

            ‘You look just like that Irish girl’, she said,

            and we all laughed, smiling and sobbing. That was my

            first loss, but nothing like her mother's –

            that great cloud of Titian red, those curls,

            she must have sighed and cursed that hair so many times,

            and then wept at the losing of it.

The Generosity of Birds

00:00 / 00:42

                        By which I mean

                        The way the robin throws his song

                        out to the world

                        The way the herring gull

                        carves the sky

                        The way the starlings

                        create dreams

                        The way the wren

                        calls from the hedge

                        The way the pigeons

                        swagger across the city square

                        The way the goldfinch

                        embroiders a line

                        between tree and sky

                        The way the blackbird

                        melts the world into music

                        The way the cormorant

                        opens its wings its arms its heart

                        to the wind

                        The way the lark

                        sings only of summer

                        The way the buzzard

                        reminds us to trust the sky

Publishing credits

All poems: exclusive first publication by iamb

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