This poem was written for the Worcestershire poet laureate contest 2011, in which Sarah was a finalist. Click on the last line of the poem, to reveal the painting created by Sam Hutchcocks and Julie Haller of Moonlit Murals (www.moonlitmurals.com) in response to Sarah’s poem. Other links throughout this poem will take you to various pictures, poems and references, allowing you as the reader to create your own personal version of this poem. Enjoy!

No Still Life

(or No Scrigglings*)

Painted by the Worcestershire people (antiquity – present day)

The fruit bowl brims with ripe curves, smooth green skins
flushed with sunrise streaks of red, yellow, pink…

Worcester Pearmains hint strawberry perfume,
promise great flavour, character and juice.

Lush Parkinson’s Wardens – our famed Black Pear
boast a slow-cooked sweetness, there to be shared.

Yellow and Purple Pershores lend lustre,
nuzzle close in neighbouring plum clusters.

Warmth carpets the background; sun pools like deep
brine or spa water, soft-tones the whole scene. .

Each shift of light reveals new shapes; new tastes
in each bite from the county’s rich landscape.

And for the final brushstroke, glazed with awe:
a cheeky dash of our Worcestershire sauce!

Sarah James

* Scrigglings is a 19th century Worcestershire dialect word for small or stunted apples left on the tree as worthless. There is a verb to scriggle but the precise etymology of scrigglings is unknown.