Helen Calcutt



Melon Picker

Death touched your feet
with its wing.

It felt
how you cut the cord, carried
their boulder warmth

from the lip of the leaf
to the gut of the bowl.

Every time the wind
disturbed a shock of trees
the dry light

eclipsed your vision.
You would drop them,

drag them. Could I ever
understand the pain
of broken feet?

Where you knelt
under the night’s drunken expanse

bleeding the lines
you walked, you wept –
Sheer tiredness

was the thing that killed us,
as it killed you then. Seeing the same

sun bloat gold
over black boulder seeds,
knocking like enormous breasts –

To greet the toll
that carried the dawn

lifting your song-lines
and you
back to the barren harvest.




Helen Calcutt‘s  first pamphlet publication Sudden rainfall ( Perdika Press)  was shortlisted for the PBS Pamphlet Choice Award, and recently listed one of Waterstones’ best-selling pamphlet collections. She performs internationally, notably for institutions as diverse as Poetry International, N.A.W.E., and Andrew Motion’s  Poetry By Heart.  She is currently poet-in-residence of Loughborough University, where she is also a visiting lecturer in Creative and Professional Writing. She is working on Unable Mother, which directly explores her experience of first-time motherhood. She is also a qualified dance artist and choreographer.

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