About sarahsouthwest

I'm now in my early 50s. I started writing again as a way of exploring the world, and feel that over the last 2 years I have really grown as a writer. By day I work with children and young people with mental health difficulties. I juggle my own two children, my work, my writing practice, generally managing to keep all the balls up in the air.

Oh my words – poem

oh my words
where will you go?
spilling out of my mouth
like flies,
like moths,
like butterflies,
like all the winged things
that scatter themselves
on the breeze

oh my words
where will you find yourselves?
tumbled over oceans,
buffetted by hurricanes,
a line drawn
from my mouth,
my fingers
to those
ears, those eyes,
those distant minds

drawing us closer.

Another for Daily Inklings. 


The spice drawer – poem for dVerse

This drawer is full of magic –
I have witchcraft stored here –
tangled in the twisting scents of nutmeg
and vanilla, waiting to be stirred
into life with my long spoon –

all the colours of the desert,
and a slow line of camels
making their way westward –

and I have dreams, too,
dreams that crunch through
the snow, sugar under foot,
dreams that pirouette
across the table –
dreams of gingerbread,
and the fresh scent of pine trees;

and memories – these warm
memories, fresh from the oven –
the scent of cloves on Sunday mornings,
the smell of cinnamon, crisped with sugar –
a street bazaar that scatters
cumin and coriander
through the morning air,
the hot taste of chai
as the mist rises
and the first train pulls in –

this drawer is full of magic
waiting to be set free.

Gina is tending the bar at dVerse tonight and asks us to look for the magic in ordinary things. Christmas is coming, and the spice drawer is being raided on a regular basis in our house. I’ve always liked the idea that these exotic commodities manage to make their way to my muddy corner of Devon, bringing the sunshine with them. 

Solstice – poem for dVerse

I’m struggling with these long December nights,
can’t bear the shortness of the winter days,
I celebrate the bravery of the lights

the sky’s a thousand different shades of grey,
I’m duller than the dullest cloud myself,
can’t bear the shortness of the winter days

I’d like a jar of sunshine on my shelf,
even a bowl of stars would be enough,
I’m duller than the dullest cloud myself –

so deck the halls with multi-coloured stuff,
with golds and reds and greens that shine and glow –
even a bowl of stars would be enough –

outside the rain falls, and the cold winds blow,
so fill the house with spicy scents all day,
with golds and reds and greens that shine and glow –

let’s feast the solstice – send it on its way,
I’m struggling with these long December nights
so fill the house with spicy scents all day,
and celebrate the bravery of the lights.

Oh, my goodness – more repetition. Thanks for a great prompt, Jilly – I do like the challenge of a form – it appeals to the bit of me that likes crosswords. Here’s a terzanelle – my very first. There’s lots more repetition going on over at dVerse. 

Headphones – poem

Take off your headphones and listen to the world to the music of the rain on the tarmac, to the clink clink clink of rope on the metal pole to the sss sss sss from the earphones of the kid next to you on the bus, who has his eyes closed and is thinking about summer and the rolling rise and fall swelling sound of the surf, and the sirens that pass in the night, and the rock and the pop and the jazz that fades like shade between one car and the next as you walk past them all, queueing to leave the city, and the loud demand of the herring gull that nests in the cliff of the tower that was built by men with rattling trowels and shouts that echoed across the empty site, and wolf whistles for each pretty girl that wiggled past, quietly knowing that she was dressed in her best, in a bright cotton dress, with white gloves, and her heels tap tap tap on the paving stones, and her purse tightly clasped, and the breeze in the trees sings a soft song and scatters blossom on her shiny hair, and she smiles, and listens to the hum of traffic crossing the bridge, and the squeal of the door on the bus, and there you are, looking out, and now take off your headphones and listen to the music of the world.

A poem for Matthew at Daily Inklings. 

Secret ingredient – poem for dVerse

I’m not like her, she’s
like a fish, flickering, caught
in a fine net, somewhere between
sunset and sunrise, childhood
games long gone, and
nothing to show but the
scars left by the world
as it whirled past, wielding
its laughter like a blade, like nothing
that can be held. But
even so, I’m like her, as a
bird is like a fish, a pair
of darting curves, of
nestling pom-poms.

A poem for Amaya’s dVerse prompt last night. The secret is that I’ve borrowed a verse from De’s poem for her own Quadrille prompt on Monday. I always feel a Golden Shovel has a secret ingredient in it…

Waiting – haibun for dVerse

The waiting room was full today – full of people, and of stories. A couple holding hands, age-knotted fingers tightly intertwined. A mother and a daughter, clinging so closely to each other, I couldn’t tell which was the patient, which the protector. A dapper man in a trilby and a winter coat, dropping in from some noir movie. Two blondes sharing a single magazine, heads together.

The waiting room was full today. Full of fear, and love.

world is frost-whitened

each blade of grass sharp and clean

waiting for sunrise

Imelda is keeping the bar at dVerse tonight. It’s haibun night, and we are writing about waiting.