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