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Bobbie Sparrow – Let the body speak

Profile Sparrow LE P&W July 2021

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Live Encounters Poetry & Writing July 2021.

Bobbie Sparrow‘s poems have been published in many journals both national and International including  Orbis, Crannog, Skylight 47, The Honest Ulsterman, Inkroci, Cordite, and Southword. Bobbie won 3rd prize for her Chapbook in the Blue Nib competition 2018 and came second in the Saolta Arts Trust Poems for Patience competition 2020. She was nominated as one of Dodging the Rain’s best published poets 2018/19 and her Chapbook Milk and Blood was commended in the Fools for Poetry competition 2020. She loves lake swimming and cycling downhill.


Let the body speak

Stand tall lift your heart
your blades, wings tipped to fly

Be ready for a storm but do not fight it

Bend your knees an iris in the wind
feel each toe held by earth

Know you are unique then bow

Lift the powerful stems of your arms
claim the sky, turn eyes to the heavens

Feel your broken piece in a celestial whole

Breathe wide, ribs opening like a sea anemone,
send the breath out, a bird from a cage

See you are not alone.

Release your tongue, uncurl its lick
let your mouth be the lily in hot sun

Let pleasure taste you

Unbutton each vertebra, your spine a snake
coiling in grass, your hips a basket of desire

Open your length to heights unclimbed

Spread hands wide to the light
starfish offered to a blue sky

See hope in the beyond

Soften the belly, your animal swing,
it’s core the jewel of the earth

Hear the beat that will not end


Everything must go

It is summer now
the bite has left.
I dive into the clear lake,
skin of day shaved
by the innocent rushes.
I am full of sin,
if sin is lack of grace.
Body insists I ignore the deep dark
as it pushes toward my belly.
I turn, face up, a fish in communion
allow the light to pass through.
A slight of sun blesses my forehead.

To be transparent I need the depth
but fear the loss greater than the return


The kiss of death

I stood as grandmother’s breath
seeped like candle’s end
pooling into stillness on wood
my mother crumbled –
a smaller woman with cracks
I could not paint over

I turned took my bike
the forbidden skirt and lipstick
raced to your den
thoughts only of your mouth on mine
and did death mean I could not go dancing.


An Arctic Char’s lament

The Arctic Char is critically endangered in the Irish seas

I swim in the beauty of salty waves
lifting my belly in melodic rubato.
Pickle coloured seaweed floats,
sage green flows beyond my knowing.

I bear the weather; my body an instrument
beneath whimsical clouds
25 knots, gusting to 34 knots, showery troughs
increasing rough, rising rapidly.

Malin Head to Carnsore Point
I am the trumpet blown,
the tempest of a bassoon.
I see sardines, circles of bathing piccolos.

I am a creature in decline, my music dims
confused by man’s debris, his noise.
My rhythm eludes me, I lose time
where once there was none.

The clash of swells and storms
wash out my map, eyes seeing now
only orange twists, bobbing grey bottles
blue rope entwined with dirty cloth.

Pressure rises, squalls discordant chants.
Plastic is netting without purpose,
caught like a note in the tenor’s throat.
I am an Arctic Char, my only song now a lament.


© Bobbie Sparrow