James Pollock


Griffin Poetry Prize 2013
Canadian Shortlist

Book: Sailing to Babylon

Poet: James Pollock

Publisher: Able Muse Press

Click here to read and listen to an excerpt.

James Pollock reads My Grandmother’s Bible

My Grandmother’s Bible

          Mary Pollock, née McConnell (1887-1959)

The shape, the heft, of a shovelful of sod.
A sheaf of God. Its soft-worn pebbled grain

of supple Levant morocco. Two rips
yawn along the spine two inches long,

a strip of leather’s lacking at the top.
The pages, inked in foxed and well-thumbed red

along the fore-edges like a thousand lips,
are gilded on heads and tails, the gilt half-faded.

Out of the biblical plagues of the 1930s,
black storms of dust, vast ravening clouds

of grasshoppers, comes this blasted, smoking heirloom,
a nut-brown flap of torn and weathered leather

wrapping a slab of paper. Its English
plunges into my heart like a small black bird.

From Sailing to Babylon by James Pollock
Copyright © 2012 by James Pollock

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