Prunella Clough, part two

Here is a poem about Prunella Clough’s work. The title is a phrase from an article by Margaret Drabble which appeared recently in Tate Magazine. It perfectly describes the emotional tone of the paintings.

The Sadness of the Scrapyard

A plastic arm, tiny fingers grasping
nothing. One shoe, the other
long missing. No attachments

in this corrugated space,
this ochre mound of loss
where things shed their colours.

To love the scraggy ends
is to love everything;
our heaven’s a slab of ruin,

broken glass and scrap
piercing skin, heralding
rusty blood, cloudy courage.

What is hard we’ll soften
with our shapes, what we see
indefinable in the heap

but still something gleams
even when all around us
is asleep.