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.


Prize Entry

April 2016

clerical error

Victoria Manifold

Prize Entry

April 2016

Due to a clerical error on my part, the current Prime Minister is now living in the box room...


May 2013

Ad Tertiam

Saskia Hamilton


May 2013

Rows of pines, planted years ago – so many, were you to count them on your fingers, you would...


May 2011

Interview with Alison Klayman

Shepherd Laughlin


May 2011

Until his arrest in Beijing on 3 April as he boarded a plane to Hong Kong, Ai Weiwei was...


Get our newsletter


* indicates required