‘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.


Peter Robinson

About Peter Robinson

Peter Robinson’s recent publications are 'Bonjour Mr Inshaw' (Two Rivers Press) and 'Poetry & Money: A Speculation' (Liverpool University Press). He has been awarded the Cheltenham Prize and the John Florio Prize for his poetry and translation, is Professor of English and American Literature at the University of Reading, and poetry editor for Two Rivers Press. Andrew McDonald is a New Zealand artist resident in London who has a studio at Chocolate Factory N16: www.chocolatefactoryn16.com.