Poetry Happening Near You

And counting...

And counting…

Sometimes we count the years but forget
the minutes: soft smiles brush past in a rush
for the door; hoarfrost sparkles;
sun pours through a clouded window –
small things mosaic a hard or boring day.

Like Grandpa’s stories, or Nan’s daisies
painted over war-time decor. Sheltering
from a downpour in Dad’s greenhouse:
thyme scenting my fingers; unripe tomatoes
exploding yellow gore on my tongue.

Gorging on blackberries, then swiping more
for Mum’s pies. Exploring bluebelled woods
with friends, dawn moors with my husband.
Sharing my sons’ first steps, hushing raw cries,
swelling with pride at scored goals…

Each happy word or touch lived, felt,
then stored. Imagine the grains of sand
in every hourglass hoarded up across years
– enough minutes, enough memories
for a sunlit ocean shore.

Sarah Leavesley


Sarah Leavesley

About this poem

Usually for the front page poem, we choose one of the competition runners-up, or one of the poems that didn't quite make the cut for our postcards. However, we are living in unusual times, and this poem by Sarah Leavesley, which was one of our 2019 postcard poems, seems just right to remind us of some of the small good things in life.

Sarah Leavesley is a prize-winning poet, fiction writer and journalist, who fits words around life and life around words. Her poetry collections include How to Grow Matches (Against the Grain Poetry Press), plenty-fish (Nine Arches Press) and The Magnetic Diaries (Knives Forks and Spoons Press). Website www.sarah-james.co.uk

Sarah says: When I thought about the Poetry on Loan theme of anniversaries, my mind went first to birthdays, weddings and other big events. But many milestone celebrations are blurs when it comes to my memory. What I most hold onto are people, and the places and moments I’ve shared with friends and family. When life feels hard, dark or mundane, I try to focus on the small things that bring light, the quiet everyday moments that suddenly remind me what it is to be alive and how beautiful the world is when I take time to look. 'And Counting...' was a lovely reminder and opportunity to do so!