Tag Archives: Sarah Frost Conduit

Sarah Frost’s Conduit

Sarah Frost is 37 years old and a single mother to a six year old boy. She works as an editor for Juta Legalbrief in Durban. She has been writing poetry for the past fourteen years. She has completed an MA in English Literature, and also a module on Creative Writing, through UKZN. She has been published in various South African journals, and also some in the United States of America. Her first collection, Conduit, is published by Modjaji Books.

Conduit is a book of pared-down poems graphically tracking a young girl’s journey from the lonely spaces of childhood to the creative, powerful realm of womanhood. At times stark, Sarah Frost’s formal yet tentative grappling with the experiences of being a daughter, a mother, and a lover, reveals the growth of a strong, yet guarded poetic persona.
“These are poems of drowning and coming up again. Of surviving with lungs that breathe water and sunlight. These are poems of longing and loss. Of searching for a foothold in a world where all slides and changes. Sarah Frost is a new voice in South African poetry. A clear and strong and exciting voice. Read her.”
– Kobus Moolman
On the slopes the charred spines of the winter pines.
The town still in the valley below,
a pulse just visible in the soft hollows of a skull.
Lonely the forest road billowing sunset-red
for a girl on her bicycle, going home.
For her there can be no leaving, yet. Nothing to find.
Just a waiting as gradual as the evening train
shunting its heavy load free of the station.
Bed time, and the wind chime jangles.
Beyond the glass, a planet stark against the sky.
Restless, she turns under her covers at dawn,
hearing a truck shift down to its lowest gear.
The deep engine roar judders on the highway, departing.
The capsicum pot-plant tilts,
as you carry it precariously,
speaking of your wife, and how you owe her flowers.
Carting my own star-jasmine tethered to a wooden stick
to where we parked – we came separately –
I feel the cake we shared at the café above the nursery,
sit heavy in my stomach like woe.
You turn your car around and with a careful wave,
drive off, leaving me, hot-faced, heavy –
scrabbling to collect the coins that just fell out of my purse
into the gravel in the gutter.
Like a CD track stuck
the old song reverberates in my head
‘the girl at the window/
waited all day for her father to come home/
thought that if she flirted with him/
he might love her more.’
At the table beneath the spreading fig tree,
I let you see my black bra-strap slip
from behind my green-yoked dress.
Felt your glance stroke my hair,
as you told me about paying your bond (and hers).
Your dessert fork glinted in the dappled light,
itching to wound.
My serviette, smeared red,
crumpled on a side plate.
One year in
We argue all night, until I ask you to leave.
The next day we walk along the promenade.
I want to view the sea between the trees, but
you pull me back, showing me wild jasmine.
We find a bench on the dune.
Below us, a family; a woman
smears sun-cream onto a man’s face.
A brother and sister build a sandcastle.
You want this. For us, you’ve said.
I know I must relinquish my other search,
a father I have lost and survived;
but still the longing, an ache in the throat.
The sun glares, and waves barrage the beach.
I watch the small girl wrap her legs
around her daddy’s waist, a limpet, not letting go.
You stroked my face
The Southern Cross, like a spoon
dips into the city bowl
scoops up the harbour lights,
the distant rattle of ships leaving,
freight trucks returning.
A fruit bat swoops into branches,
elusive as an unanswered question.
Saying goodbye, the man I want
so much it makes me silent,
kisses my face on both sides,
then turns away, shouldering the night.
Indoors, I lay my restless son down to sleep,
my fingers stroking love across his face.
I recollect the way you, my father, traced my forehead so,
when I was a child, when you held me during storms.
My tears prickle like dry grass against a bare foot
for what came later; for what you did not do,
for the leaving, and the staying away.
from Conduit (Modjaji Books, 2011).
Order Conduit from cdhiggs@gmail.com.

News and a special offer

The Suitable Girl in Atlanta with a Californian Cabernet © Christine Swint

Some good news.
Independent publisher Modjaji Books will be bringing out a South African edition of The Suitable Girl in April.
You can see from the photograph that she’s made her way to Atlanta in the United States. Thank you, Christine Swint.
And Julie Buffaloe-Yoder writes about the collection at
The Buffaloe Pen:
The Suitable Girl has many faces. Sometimes she whispers her stories. Sometimes she speaks with her tongue in her cheek. Sometimes she screams.”
If you’re interested, The Suitable Girl can be ordered via Paypal from the Pindrop Press website (see details at the bottom of my author page).
And, if you’re in South Africa, Modjaji Books is offering a fabulous deal:
R300 – Any 3 poetry books – if they have to be posted – add R20, will wait till the last one is out before posting
R50 – Whiplash, add R30 for postage
Any 5 Modjaji Books for R500, add R30 for postage
All of these amount to huge savings for you, compared to regular prices of between R135 and R190
For more information about Modjaji Titles:
Modjaji Books 2010 Catalogue  
Recent and soon to be released books can also be bought as part of this offer.
Wame Molefhe Go Tell the Sun (short stories) (Feb 2011)
Modjaji Books
Colleen Higgs Lava Lamp Poems (Jan 2011) Hands-On Books
Alleyn Diesel (ed) Reclaiming the L-Word
(stories by different authors)(pub date March 2011) Modjaji Books
Sarah Frost Conduit (poems) (pub date March 2011)
Modjaji Books
Dawn Garisch Difficult Gifts (poems) (pub date April 2011)
Modjaji Books
Michelle McGrane The Suitable Girl (poems)
(pub date April 2011) co-pub Modjaji Books/Pindrop Press (UK)
Robin Winkel-Mellish Leading the Lioness (pub date April 2011)
Hands-On Books
Email Colleen Higgs at cdhiggs@gmail.com if you want to take up this offer.