Poetry Happening Near You

Small questions of great height

Small questions of great height

“How high is high?” she asks, face tilted up.
I’ve no idea if it’s hills or sky she means,
or if the question probes deeper.

So I point to the horizon: “High
is fairy cakes iced with sunshine and snow
when you climb that mountain peak.

High is the world’s coolest party –
where lost balloons hang out without strings
and bubbles bounce without popping.

High is bees buzzing with pollen
from the sun’s bright petals; then honey                                      
poured across sunset and dawn.                                             

High is where birds’ wings become cloud         
feathered with blue, kites become butterflies
and butterflies glide slowly from view.

High is as far, then further, than eyes see.
High is as high as you’d like it to be.”        

Sarah James

Sarah James

Sarah James

About this poem

Poetry on Loan commissions 20 or 30 poets to write poems for our poetry postcards. The poems have to be short, accessible and on a given theme - this time it was Onwards, upwards, freedom - and the selection process is always difficult. For our front-page poem, we're be having some of the poems that didn't quite make the cut - it was close!

This one is by Sarah James, who won the first Poetry on Loan poetry competition. Sarah is the author of four poetry collections, three poetry pamphlets and two novellas, and is editor at V Press, a small poetry publishing house.