James Berry

Image by Caroline Forbes

Rough Sketch Beginning

James Berry

Rough Sketch Beginning

James Berry

Poem introduction

This poems is called 'Rough Sketch Beginning'.

Rough Sketch Beginning

Rough Sketch Beginning

I came to sketch
my ideas for my picture

I saw the sun
a bearded saint in bliss
curled in a face of fire

I saw a mountain
all a thought
left standing there

I saw the sea
a place too dreadful
to be empty

I saw a river
a lover fitted in
a perfect slit

I saw woodland branches
the many hands
washing the wind

I saw birdsong
colour streaks
and circle pieces of the air

I saw dust
dirt from our minds'
uncleaned mirrors

I saw lightning
chink of light from
another world

I saw a storm
peace unemployed
turned into mischief

I saw night
softest of world bedcover
arousing passion

from Hot Earth Cold Earth (Bloodaxe 1995), copyright © James Berry 1995, used by permission of the author.


James Berry

James Berry Reading from his poems

1Folk Proverbs Found Poems

2Rough Sketch Beginning

3Just Being

4Spirits of Movement

5My Arrival

6Night Comes Too Soon

7Chain of Days

8A Schooled Fatherhood

9Early Days Thinking Is Only So Much

10Defendant in a Jamaican Court

11Villager's Independence: 2

12Haiku Moments: 1

13Flame and Water


15Ol Style Freedom

16Words of a Jamaican Laas Moment Them

17Words at My Mother's Funeral

18Haiku Moments: 3

19In God's Greatest Country, 1945

20Old Man in New Country

21In-a Brixtan Markit

22Lucy's Letter

23Thinkin Loud-Loud

24It's Me Man

25Starapple Time Starapple Trees

26On an Afternoon Train from Purley to Victoria, 1955

27New World Colonial Child