NCLA New Writing: 'The Shaddock' and other poems by Antonia Cundy

NCLA New Writing: ‘The Shaddock’ and other poems by Antonia Cundy

The Shaddock

Pomelo; plump pulp bunched at branches’ bottom,
Pulling hard on thick limbs
Against the hulked leg rising six metres to the sky.
The swell of moist beads inside a wax case,
Demanding all energy to breed unpredictable bulbs.
White flowers mislead the hungry warrior,
Deceitful innocent flags to food
Seduce the weary wanderer
With a waxen green umbrella of shade
A cool break in the sweet-scented shadow of the wave-white belled petals.
What strength sucked from the soil
To rise twenty inches,
Each sun-setting season
Expand the shaded sanctuary
And bear the bulbous load of pummelo.

Pummelo; two in thirty-two –
A bitterly sad chance of success,
Or sweet survival.
A bite of one, of two, of thirty-two;
A luck eight times more exotic
Than the four-leafed clover.
The other thirty?
Thirty more orange’s Adams,
Thirty pommelos.

Pommelos we cannot predict
Bitter, sweet, taste roulette.
Eight times more exotic
For eight years to fruit,
To taste underneath green-yellow rind.
To decide;
Discard, or salted pamplemousse?

Pamplemousse, so purposeless in reproduction
Candied rind, raw flesh,
Dipped in Brazil’s dark cocoa.
Or forgone, Eve’s apple, the elixir
Of forbidden Fruit’s shackles.

The shaddock.
Here, true magical shaman seeds,
Plucked from branches
Sliced in segments
Inebriate the senses
The uncertainty of thirty-two
Laced into liqueur.

Adam to the orange,
The shaddock.


The Milkman

A skin had formed over her hot chocolate,
Creasing clinging off her spoon –
Her grandmother’s bingo wings.
“I couldn’t get a regular rhythm,”
He had said.
Surely the milk could not be off?
She’d only bought it yesterday,
From the kind man whose hands
She imagined soft as clotted cream,
Pooling pennies in the lap of her fiver.



What virulent youth sprayed that there?
Violent in his thoughts,
Flagrantly tattooing the brick –
A vagrant, a vandal.


Antonia Cundy is a third year English Literature student at Newcastle University. Her creative work, reviews and articles have been published in Prospect Magazine, Alliterati Magazine, Cuckoo Review, and others. She is currently working on a prose piece based around Newcastle’s Ouseburn.