How To Build A Home by Sarah L Dixon

Guest editor Clive Birnie selected this poem because, he says, “I love the reflections of sounds; diaries, fairies…”

How to build a home

after Clare Shaw


Cover the bare bulbs

with tassels and shades

that take the light

and warm and dull it.


Place boots in the hallway.

They will tangle

into a comfortable pile

within a week.


Hang photos from friends.

Frame cards drawn by your son

Sucker the sun-catcher

over your view of the valley.


Add bunting

and fairy-lights

to places

that harbour darkness.


Store your love letters, diaries and vinyl

in a corner of the attic

so you can find them yearly

on your spring clean.


Place candles by the bath,

a chili plant in your porch.

Put fairy doors

next to the wheelie bins.


Fashion a home

from these walls

of Yorkshire stone.



Sarah L Dixon is based in Linthwaite and tours as The Quiet Compere. She has been most recently published in Confluence and Marble. Her first book, ‘The sky is cracked’, was released by Half Moon Press in November 2017 and her book ‘Adding wax patterns to Wednesday’ is due out with Three Drops Press in late 2018. Sarah’s inspiration comes from being close to water and adventures with her son, Frank (8).

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