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A Magazine for Sheffield

Wordlife: Creative Writing: Simon Corble / Letty Butler

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Vanessa Kisuule, Off The Shelf 2019

In this month's Wordlife section you'll find a selection of photos and a poem from Simon Corble, taken from his book, White Light, White Peak. The book gently guides the reader through the seasons and sights surrounding the White Peak in Derbyshire. This poem is aptly taken from the Autumn section of his book.

Off The Shelf Festival of Words is just around the corner. Watch out for performances from past Wordlife headliners Vanessa Kisuule and Toria Garbutt, alongside its selection of nationally-known authors, broadcasters and writers.




Sheffield Climate Writers Meeting

Tue 24 Sept | 6-8pm | Union St | Free

A new writers' group in Sheffield. There will be readings, writing exercises and discussions on the topic of climate change and our future.

Off The Shelf Festival of Words

5-26 October | Various venues

Off The Shelf is the city's annual celebration of reading and writing. A huge range of writers, authors and poets will be reading at events across the city. Notable headliners include Zadie Smith, Jack Monroe, Jeffrey Boakye and Mark Radcliffe.


Bare Jarnett

These mornings,

when mist slips down the dale

pulling the quilt and sheet of cloud from

off our sleeping hills

it's good to rise and climb

to some high lane

its stone walls shining

with unearthly dew


Exposed under a pale blue vault of sky

the ways run free as if in dreaming still

a lucid dream, where all is possible

and all the smothered world below is locked

in foggy nightmare, trouble, joyless doubt;

small hills become as miniature isles

amidst a slowly churning sea of foam.

We click along the rutted, puddled track

delighting in the rose-hips, dripping wet

and come across a ruined farm. We stop.

And, just as in a dream, there's

no choice but explore

An old tin sign for lemonade BARR's

stuck in the earth, a trailer wheel;

a broken sink's two shattered teeth;

the slipping, asbestos slates look


We don't go in.

Lean-tos of rusting, corrugated iron

encase the house completely, like some

crustacean on the ocean floor, hiding

from the world. It might not

even be that old.

Whatever secrets lie there undisturbed,

whatever tales of horror or depression

this place has dropped

an anchor on the day

so that, in times to come, we'll say, "No

that was the walk with the ruined farm

on that long lane called

Bare Jarnett."

Simon Corble

Spit & Smoke

Pigs in frocks

spill out of pubs

to swill pints

and bask in the sunshine.

The hogs roast

in pavement pens.

Fatty flesh turns

pink and crisp

into Yorkshire's finest crackling.

They squeal & spit & smoke

teetering tippsily on porcine trotters.

Mid afternoon

as make-up melts on snouts,

the foraging begins.

They trough cheesy chips,

lick ketchup off lipsticked chops,

suck grease from shellaced nails

and flirt

with horny boars,

fresh from the footie

gagging for a hot pork sarnie.

When the sun goes down,

they stumble back

to someone's sty.


Letty Butler

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