The sixteen beautifully turned lines of Bradford on Avon poet Sara Cheesman’s Finn’s Loft manage to be at once tender and terrifying, poignant and sinister, domestic and mysterious. They tell a story but never quite reveal what the story is. They paint a place of apparent comfort and security but the place is also half overwhelmed, half swallowed up by elemental forces outside itself.
Some things are naturalistic: the wind ‘rips at grassy tussocks.’ Others are dreamlike: ‘spiked dervishes ride high hedges.’ Are the pale gulls really looping the house at night? Are the paper fish which ‘feed off paint and pebbles’ actually coming alive in the children’s hands? Finn’s Loft creates a mesmerising half-world between dream and reality, between the safe and the dangerous. All this is wonderfully captured in the last four words of this magical poem:
Stars huge, dreams limitless
I love the contrast between the neat visually controlled quatrains and the fierce things going on inside the words. Sara is coming in to share her poem with the judges and other competitors on the Competition Afternoon on Saturday 26th September 2015.
Sara herself introduces her poem in the programme notes like this: Finn’s Loft was written at my sister’s house in Pembrokeshire as a late autumn gale raged outside.