Poetry: Fear is a Pernicious Fruit/ Shock in Two halves

Published in Dreich Ekphrastic, Summer 2020

Published in Dreich Ekphrastic, Summer 2020


Fear is a Pernicious Fruit

(Inspired by Lucy Gray’s sculpture ‘Fear is a Pernicious Fruit’)


The artist primed the charred oak log. She brushed the ash off with a feather, before blowing on it with her mouth. She saturated it with a mixture of French polish and meths, fed it in with a fine brush until the fissures stopped absorbing. She fixed it with polyurethane varnish dissolved in turpentine, this kept the patination of the wood but made it so it wouldn’t crumble - the artist is into pieces lasting. She is sincere and her fruit is unwaxed.


Your lizard brain knows 

there’s a lot to fear

your lizard brain shows 

how nightmares are  

real places cracking 

to the quick of you.


Shock in Two Halves

(Inspired by Lucy Gray’s sculpture ‘Shock’)


The body of a friendship changes with the terrible realisation of knowing that someone is going to die. 


She excavates his feet, massages the hard swollen soles and softens the skin that has grown to scales. ‘You’ve no idea what bliss this is,’ he says. She has always absolutely loved him. She likes his broken nose, his olive skin, how he always does the right thing.


She understands that the smashed shell must not be sealed. Painstakingly she prepares the space either side of the hinge for the flesh that’s missing. Warms up rabbit skin glue, adds calcium carbonate to make the Gesso. It paints on to the larger-than-life bivalve like hot double cream, dries to a hard base for two layers of clay, yellow then white. She polishes the bole with bee’s wax until it is the translucence of breath.