Circle Time

A collection of sketches: simple and honest, these poems seek to placate experience and depict the eternity beyond our landscape.

Written by Sam Rawlings, and with illustrations by Dan Prescott, Circle Time is an exploration into the nature of human experience. It focuses on the way our emotional lives spiral as we grow older, the ways in which the echoes of our past are carried through time.

Look through the cracks, stare long enough into the more subtle reaches of life and anomalies begin to appear, ‘moments’ begin to arise. This is a common theme in my work, as are the presence of spirals, circles, rhythm.

Circle Time can be summarised as a journey through the seasons; the poems addressing and then re-addressing those waves of physical and emotional sensations, whether implicit or otherwise, that repeatedly rise and fall within us as our lives progress.


  • binding: paperback
  • category: Contemporary Poetry
  • author: Sam Rawlings
  • illustrator: Dan Prescott
  • isbn: isbn-10: 0-9552530-1-2 – isbn-13: 978-0-9552530-1-0
  • price: £4.99
  • size: 160mm x 120mm
  • extent: 128 pages
  • illustrated: Yes (7 black and white images)
  • publication date: First Published in 2007 (new edition due March 2010)
  • publisher name: Lazy Gramophone Press
  • distributor: Central Books

“A keen sensitivity to the relation between sound and meaning.”
~ Sabotage




The Diminished

That moment of confluence past,
only a diligent reflection of the stars
upon our clear skin contrasts these currents of feeling
creeping between us.
A voice drifts in the dark,
cold as the moon quiet as the arch of a fin
callous as the cracks appearing
from within the beds of our lips;
a sun-dried apathy.
Stagnant puddles litter the fall of each balding crest
the dissolution of the lightness of our veil
the birth of legs.
As if a tear, cast beneath the yellow of morning
your silver blanched, a glassy silhouette.
Our blood riven a river silenced returned to the air
an echo of despair and the weight of my steps.





Within the lamp light
Huddled around her and me
And this lonely table,
Humble within tonight’s kitchen
Of wood and of no sleep,
Our eyes swell to double their usual size
And words crumble before
They can even begin to stumble from our lips.
The pits of our stomachs have grown sour
From so many hours
But still we continue to feed.
Could picture this scene
Displayed on a wall.
After all we’ve both paid enough for it;
For the baisse noir lighting
For the violence silent so beautiful between us,
For the slits across our wrists
Sown simply now by its title.
If only this frame wasn’t so fragile,
Then maybe one day we
Could have hung it.




By Hope

Shouldn’t we speak a little more softly
afloat the breeze,
in case words like memories conspire to break this,
reclaim our hearts.
Locks of chaos fall, dance upon her neck,
arc of chin and that quick inhalation of breath;
a labyrinth of limbs.

Shouldn’t we pay a little more attention
cling a little tighter to this skimming stone’s mast,
for thoughts perchance to kiss, so often surpassed
amid the mesh of rings flowering so fast.
An angel’s wings, the raising of her arms
the curl of her lips, soil slipped from view. I
love you. Two roots torn from the ground.
Living proof, our rebellion.

Motionless for now, her petals float before me
though still she meets my eyes;
a single wish upon an ocean so vast,
so defenceless yet still our whispers laugh.
Nothing but the rhythm of the waves.

Cast adrift, so slowly we begin again
our paddle toward the shore.




Still Looking

They are sad eyes,
those eyes looking at me

filled with emotion
just begging to be set free;

and I’ve always believed it’s in the eyes
and not in the heart
that our feelings are trapped,

some sprinkled with life
some on the verge of collapse.

All so different
yet still so similar to those eyes looking at me

those sad eyes,
pefectly sometimes painfully,
on show for the whole world to see.

Just like those eyes
the sad eyes I can see

those sad eyes still looking at me.

Sam Rawlings