He trepans with the blunt

screwdriver on his penknife:

unripe figs require the touch

of air on flesh to sweeten.

Blind, but in his fingertips

he has the whole knot

of this fig-tree memorised.


The five inch scar, a vague

felt mesh of parallelogram,

was where he bandaged up

a split branch once.

He starts from there,

first hand-height fruit

and then he gets the ladder.


Gauge weight, turn, unturn.

He sings beneath his breath

about the excellence of figs,

their mellowness,

their skin-dints

like the perfect undulation

in the small of his wife’s back.



was born in 1986. He is currently completing a PhD at Durham University. His poetry has featured in the Salt Book of Younger Poets and Best British Poetry 2012. His first collection, Antler, was published by Salt in 2012.


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