Sharon Black’s shed



I hand you nails
to secure the roof felt
torn off in a gale. Inch by
inch, you work the spine
like an osteopath.
I stand on tiptoe
watching you unroll
the pitch into place,
my back rod-straight
as you hammer down
each square. And I think
how I’d have left
the shed till spring
when, shoving open
the rickety door, we’d have found
the deckchairs slimy,
the dolphin burst,
towels damp,
the rot set in.

Sharon Black is originally from Glasgow but now lives in the Cévennes mountains of southern France with her husband and their two young children. In her past life she was a journalist and taught English in France and Japan. In her current one she organizes creative writing retreats at her home in France: http://abricreativewriting.com/

She has won The Frogmore Prize 2011, The New Writer competition 2010 for Best Poetry Collection and the Envoi International Poetry Prize 2009. She was runner-up in the Wigtown Book Festival Poetry Competition 2011, and came 2nd in both the Kent and Sussex Open Poetry Competition 2011, judged by Jo Shapcott, and Agenda Poetry Competition 2011.

Her first collection, To Know Bedrock, was published by Pindrop Press.

11 thoughts on “Sharon Black’s shed”

  1. I can always read so much into your work Sharon – this is great on all levels. Love its ‘ramrod’ shape and the shed picture all fits in beautifully. Thanks for sharing this.

  2. Beautifully written, Sharon – as carefully written as the person is carefully & precisely repairing the roof felt. Unforgettable simile “work the spine like an osteopath”. Layers & layers to this poem. Lovely to see. And thanks Abi for this series of shed poems.

    1. Why, does she tear down sheds? (Seriously, I don’t know who she is other than a – thanks google – sculptor)…

      1. Her early installation works were imbued with poetic innuendos linked to the fragility of human experience. Cold Dark Matter: An Exploded View (1991, London, Tate) is the restored three-dimensional volume of a garden shed exploded by the British Army at the request of the artist. The surviving fragments, suspended from the ceiling and lit by a single bulb, create a dramatic effect and cast shadows on the gallery’s walls. Parker worked not only with the altered scale and substance of things, but also with the meaning conveyed by found objects…

        thanks Google

  3. Thanks to everyone for you very positive comments. And to Abi for accepting my poem and coming up with such a great theme. I’m looking forward to reading more!

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