In December 2012 I blogged about the spoon poems in Richie McCaffery’s Spinning Plates. Lovely work. Richie is a collector of old things, notably spoons and books. I’ve been a bit of a collector of both too. In the end I had to stop. I developed ambitions to possess cutlery far beyond my means.

Writing that blog back in 2012, I also popped in a poem by Hilary Menos. And now things have come full circle, because it happens to be in a whole pamphlet: Fear of Forks.

So it seems cutlery poems appeal to me a lot. You don’t get many of them on Ebay, and Hilary has written more than any other poet I know. They needed collecting, and cherishing.

It strikes me that quite a number of poets may be inspired by cutlery. Michael Laskey and D A Prince have unforgettable poems featuring a particular kitchen knife. Maybe more of you have cutlery poems somewhere in your store? Tableware is so familiar, and still valuable. Something useful that’s also beautiful. Or something beautiful because it’s useful.

I have a little silver fork that was given to me as a baby, a christening present. It has a space where my initials should have gone but they never did. My sister had one too. Where did hers go? Who will want mine when I’m gone?

We have a launch event coming up shortly, where I’m going to discuss The Friday Poem ezine with Hilary and her husband Andy. We’ll also speak about cutlery and, of course, cutlery poems. Cutting edge poetry.

Do register and come if you can. I promise an interesting discussion. That’s 6.30 pm (London time) Tuesday 20th September in the year the Queen died: 2022.

Here’s the link for registration (you have to register in order to come):

And do post any spoon (or cutlery) poem below, if you have a short-ish one you’re prepared to share. 

The fork without my initials, and some shortbread I made last night.


  1. I know several poets who are cutlery collectors but my poem, Spoons, references the way we can measure our capacity to do daily tasks when we are ill.


    My daughter is out of spoons.
    I rush to see her, fly over hills,
    the sea, a mountain range, Geneva’s lake.

    It’s a bumpy landing and fog
    rolls out to welcome me, masking
    trees on fire with autumn.

    We frisk the kitchen,
    interrogate the dishwasher,
    and all the places spoons shouldn’t be.

    Perhaps the teenagers might have some
    lying low in their rooms; maybe
    they’re holed-up in her bags of marking in the car.

    I have no car. There are no shops
    that I can reach on foot. I don’t know what to do.
    She’s started buying coffee in sachets.

  2. Runcible rattail saucier absinthe dessert tea

    Such tipping weight, the crescent scoop of moon-curve. Spoon slumbers in my drawer ’til tide pull, soft-haul,
    whispers time again for full. That silvered bowl waits, mouth ever open, a hand cupped to hold. Womb empty
    then full, so silver-full, mercury quick. Wolf Moon, Snow Moon all witness. That medicine sharp-sour lick,
    silver slipped in mouth, sugar spoon-fulling it down. The scallop-shelled handle holding slim hands of mermaids.
    Family and time worn thin. Tarnish often polished by mothers. Brown crystals soft-sprinkled on to coffee frothed
    by gurgling glistening Gaggia machines. Communion and conversation in Italian neighbours’ cafes after Sun-day
    not Moon-day church. Pencil-skirted Mummy perching at glossy table. No apostles but at home, the thinnest
    slender moon sickle. Grandchildren seek it deep in drawer. A fairy spoon for babies’ eggs, butter mashed as little
    mouths wait for teeth.

    Published in Lighthouse Issue 22

    Published in Lighthouse Issue 22, Spring 2021

  3. I’ve got a Spoon poem with an alternative use:


    What I remember of the spoon is
    how it was her crowd control at mealtimes
    how she held it upright in her hand,
    its handle to the table-top, how it tapped
    a rhythm like a slow drum

    how when we laughed we knew the spoon
    would greet us with a firm handshake,
    a spoon shaped bruise would raise itself
    on the back of our hands, how we tried
    not to laugh but it was a contagion

    how you tried to drown your laughter
    in a cup of tea but one snort spread tealeaves
    across your face like freckles and we laughed,
    laughed so much we knew. Here it comes now…

    Rachel Davies

  4. Ouch, Rachel! That really works!
    Reminds me of my friend Annabel at primary school, who when ‘naughty’ was spanked by her mother with a wooden spoon.
    In the right hands, it’s quite serious weapon!

  5. Oooh — thanks Finola. And specially love that the apostles got a mention, even in their absence. And love the ‘fairy spoon’….

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.