These poems appeared in first anthologies that I published in and in my first two collections.
The critics said:
Of the anthology, A Poetry Quintet, "The last of these, James Sutherland-Smith is outstanding ... observant and in the true (unportentous) sense of the word, compassionate." John Mole in The Times Literary Supplement
First you reach a severed calf's head.
One eye trails from it on a string
Of nerves and string.
You walk on the road
Avoiding pavements slimy with blood
And the offals heaped in bulging
A butcher smiles at you
While he ties up a pig's carcase
Scoring its rind of gristle.
You see building
On building, a whole city ribbed with meat.
It is near your blood time.
When I ring
You say "No, no no! I'm all right!"
Yet you fee yourself distend until you fear
The office walls might crack under the stress
Of your bulk.
You can only wait sensing
The relief of pain, counting each fat second.
After work you will return through the market
On pavements hosed clean, past porters wearing
Fresh overalls and the rows of empty hooks.
You will walk quickly thin as a blade.
From A Poetry Quintet (1976)