Poetry at on form


17th July 2018

On Saturday, 30 June, poet Tamar Yoseloff led a workshop called The Shape of a Poem, seeking inspiration for new poetry in the sculptures at on form. Participants focused in particular on the shape of the poem, and the way it reflected the shape of the sculpture. We have not in all cases managed to reproduce the shape of the poem quite as well as it was presented to us, because of the limitations of a web page. 

We hope that the adventurous narrative spirit of on form will inspire writing of all kinds, and we are planning a short story competition for 2020. 

Fallen, by Judith Morris

(Inspired by Ben Russell’s sculpture)

Light through thin translucent skin

veins ridged, exposed

Trophies of age and beauty 

stretched taut, split-wrinkled

Sap thick cold; spine twisted,

gnarled, doubled

Wisdom withered; supple youth 

fossil-frozen, fallen

Pinnacle Monkey by Sarah Watkinson

(Inspired by Alex Wenham sculpture)

 Poor Monkey, stuck

like a sabotaged sky-diver, your tail

(made for the branches of these overhanging beeches)

vainly reflexed round the nub of a crocket

your weight borne on a down-

reaching right arm


with fingers and thumbs the same

as mine, but limbs in monkey fur

sleeves and trousers, and

that’s a man’s heel,

toes grappled to



Gamely smiling

but wide-eyed


you turn

from it

to he


then you




in time

we must


The Only Kind of Dragon by Judith Morriss 

(Inspired by Guy Stevens sculpture)


   Time you speak

        your words


     into my flesh


   a piece of me


  at my heart


the jagged surface

     of my skin


  turned sour



  I am whole

 You could not

   reach inside

     and burn