Tear up the lace by Adam Strickson
Poems of 'strange loveliness' illuminate lives drawn from the margins of British society and beyond, from teenage lovers kissing in Haworth churchyard to Ulysses taking an afternoon nap.

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Tear up the lace
Adam Strickson

ISBN 978-0-9558400-3-6
Format: Paperback
Published: March 2011
Pages: 88pp
RRP: £5.95
Price inc. Postage and Packing

Excerpts from Tear up the lace:

Mr. Sunny

Suraj, my name, once sown in sweet corn heat, means ‘sun’,
a proper Yorkshireman, a good Kashmiri son.

With battered book in hand, back home from school I’d run
to drive the oxen, a ploughboy berried brown by sun.

And then this foreign home – unspoken rules: keep mum,
don’t answer back, sweep dust and never see the sun.

In just a year, I gained a weaver’s rapid thumb
and learnt this awkward tongue in bone-tired daytime sun.

I taught my friends our new home’s words and spread my sun
among their bread bun roti, cool Bismillah sons.

By selling door to door in wind-blown streets, I’ve done
what we all hoped: grown shops and vans in English sun.

Now retired, I phone around and sort out everyone,
advise a bit of ‘when in Rome’ in different sun.

So why do some see hidden bombs and rattling gun
when this Halifax man roams the streets in showery sun?


If others ask what’s in your homespun heart, Suraj,
don’t speak of heavy rain; uncloud the sun.

He places his find in the rock cabinet

Joshua     home-schooled

adds     his cube stone

to plant     furl stones     basalts and granite

two ammonites from     Jard-sur-Mare

and banded ironstone     two billion years old

before oxygen     before limbs fins rust


I watch him     and think back

to Half Moon quarry     on Foxcote Hill

my first find     my belemnite


I chipped the mollusc spire     from honey stone

rubbed it clean     weighed the sea in my palm


ocean arrow     sleek fossil

Devonian squid     cuttlefish cousin

perfect swimmer     from the Old Red Age

Joshua becomes     motionless


stone bound

© 2011 Adam Strickson