Wild Court

An international poetry journal based in the English Department of King’s College London

‘Chocolate Factory’ – a poem by Peter Robinson


    Chocolate Factory


for Andrew McDonald


Like a natural outsider
over listed cobblestones
to this once mews-like stable block,
then chocolate factory, hence its name,
on a visit to your studio,
I’m late – caught in the rain.

It’s accessed by some iron steps
and walkways to the farther end,
narrow, an anchorite’s cell.

Dray horse or temperance beverage,
whatever the likely images
were conjured from its walls,

once inside, I had imagined
a hayloft on your upper level
with traps to feeding troughs below.

Now hatter’s heads and a worktable,
tacked prompts, stacked finished articles
tell a further tale …

By artisan potter and craftsperson,
you practice this outsider art.
The walls screen muse-like distances.
With impoverished materials,
inspiration, improvised,
they break through still where stored, restored,
the work gets fired, good and done.