Marta Fernández Calvo

6pm, Friday 4th October, Custom Folkestone


Picnic Poetico is a participatory event by Spanish artist Marta Fernández Calvo.

During the weeks prior to the festival, a number of poems will be shared on this web page. These poems will contain ingredients, recipes and and poetic images of food. Participants are invited to cook some of the recipes described in the poems. The recipes will be served in picnic baskets in Custom's Locavore garden and be shared as the poems are read.


This multidisciplinary project draws on the relationship between artists and the kitchen to explore how popular knowledge and oral transmission can be experienced in live performance. 

BREAD by Gabriela Mistral

They left a loaf of bread on the table,
white inside, brown crust,
its top broken into a scatter
of big snowy crumbs.

It seems new, a thing I've never seen,
yet it's all I've ever eaten,
but half-asleep, playing with its crumbs,
touch and smell are forgotten.

It smells like my mother suckling me.
It smells like my three valleys,
Aconcagua, Pa'tzcuaro, Elqui.
It smells like I feel when I'm singing.

There are no other smells in the farmhouse
and that's how it could call me.
Nobody else around the house,
only this loaf broken open on a plate
that knows me with its body
as I know it with mine.

Everywhere in the world its been eaten,
this same bread, its hundred brothers,
bread of Coquimbo, bread of Oaxaca,
bread of Santa Ana and Santiago.

When I was little, I knew it,
in the shape of a sun, a fish, a ring,
and my hand knew its inner warmth
like a plumy pigeon.

Then I forgot it till today,
when we two meet,
I with my body of an aged Sara,
it with the body of a five-year-old.


By Robert Frost

My long two-pointed ladder's sticking through a tree 

Toward heaven still, 

And there's a barrel that I didn't fill 

Beside it, and there may be two or three 

Apples I didn't pick upon some bough. 

But I am done with apple-picking now. 

Essence of winter sleep is on the night, 

The scent of apples: I am drowsing off. 

I cannot rub the strangeness from my sight 

I got from looking through a pane of glass 

I skimmed this morning from the drinking trough 

And held against the world of hoary grass. 

It melted, and I let it fall and break. 

But I was well 

Upon my way to sleep before it fell, 

And I could tell 

What form my dreaming was about to take. 

Magnified apples appear and disappear, 

Stem end and blossom end, 

And every fleck of russet showing clear. 

My instep arch not only keeps the ache, 

It keeps the pressure of a ladder-round. 

I feel the ladder sway as the boughs bend. 

And I keep hearing from the cellar bin 

The rumbling sound 

Of load on load of apples coming in. 

For I have had too much 

Of apple-picking: I am overtired 

Of the great harvest I myself desired. 

There were ten thousand thousand fruit to touch, 

Cherish in hand, lift down, and not let fall. 

For all 

That struck the earth, 

No matter if not bruised or spiked with stubble, 

Went surely to the cider-apple heap 

As of no worth. 

One can see what will trouble 

This sleep of mine, whatever sleep it is. 

Were he not gone, 

The woodchuck could say whether it's like his 

Long sleep, as I describe its coming on, 

Or just some human sleep. 


by Marcela Sulak

Sealed inside this yellow peel, beneath the heavy
clouds they call white skin, the wings
are bound and pressed. So when she feels the knife
she quivers, when the skin’s peeled back, oh ecstasy.
Yet when the wings are lifted out, they’re different
than they were before; instead of wind they’re filled
with water, sweet and bitter, each feather fitted
to a narrow juice-filled sac.

                                                                They look like
the hands of an unripe bride, pale from waiting
in the dark, long slender fingers reaching,
ever unmet. Even if they were to dry a little
in the sun, like cicadas falling out before
they grow into their souls, these wings
won’t rise—they left in such a rush.  And she
has never learned wane and billow, what has tides,
and what a spoon is for.  The wet
pomelo feathers
wink like the seven hundred eyes of flies
and scatter like dew, and here she is,
opening her mouth.



All I want tonight

is a girl to hand me

a shot of whiskey

to grab my hand and say

the night is young

and run to the water

shedding clothes

and pulling

on the moonlight


From Grapefruit

by Yoko Ono

Imagine one thousand suns in the

sky at the same time.

Let them shine for one hour.

Then, let them gradually melt into the sky.

Make one tunafish sandwich and eat.


From Food by Gertrude Stein

Apple plum, carpet steak, seed clam, colored wine, calm seen, cold cream, best shake, potato, potato and no no gold work with pet, a green seen is called bake and change sweet is bready, a little piece a little piece please.

            A little piece please. Cane again to the presupposed and ready eucalyptus tree, count on sherry and ripe plates and little corners of a kind of ham. This is use.



From Foodby Gertrude Stein

Rhubarb is susan not susan not seat in bunch toys not wild and laughable not in little places not in neglect and vegetable not in fold coal age not please.

DIGGING by Seamus Heaney


Between my finger and my thumb   

The squat pen rests; snug as a gun.


Under my window, a clean rasping sound   

When the spade sinks into gravelly ground:   

My father, digging. I look down


Till his straining rump among the flowerbeds   

Bends low, comes up twenty years away   

Stooping in rhythm through potato drills   

Where he was digging.


The coarse boot nestled on the lug, the shaft   

Against the inside knee was levered firmly.

He rooted out tall tops, buried the bright edge deep

To scatter new potatoes that we picked,

Loving their cool hardness in our hands.


By God, the old man could handle a spade.   

Just like his old man.


My grandfather cut more turf in a day

Than any other man on Toner’s bog.

Once I carried him milk in a bottle

Corked sloppily with paper. He straightened up

To drink it, then fell to right away

Nicking and slicing neatly, heaving sods

Over his shoulder, going down and down

For the good turf. Digging.


The cold smell of potato mould, the squelch and slap

Of soggy peat, the curt cuts of an edge

Through living roots awaken in my head.

But I’ve no spade to follow men like them.


Between my finger and my thumb

The squat pen rests.

I’ll dig with it.


by Pablo Neruda

luminous flask,
your beauty formed
petal by petal,
crystal scales expanded you
and in the secrecy of the dark earth
your belly grew round with dew.
Under the earth
the miracle
and when your clumsy
green stem appeared,
and your leaves were born
like swords
in the garden,
the earth heaped up her power
showing your naked transparency,
and as the remote sea
in lifting the breasts of Aphrodite
duplicating the magnolia,
so did the earth
make you,
clear as a planet
and destined
to shine,
constant constellation,
round rose of water,
the table
of the poor.

You make us cry without hurting us.
I have praised everything that exists,
but to me, onion, you are
more beautiful than a bird
of dazzling feathers,
heavenly globe, platinum goblet,
unmoving dance
of the snowy anemone
and the fragrance of the earth lives
in your crystalline nature.


by Luisa Castro

My mother works in a canning factory.
One day she said to me:
‘love is a can of sardines’. Do you know
how they prep the sardines
for the cans? 
One day my mother said to me: love is a work of art
in a can.
do you know where you come from?
You’re from the cannery on a mussel farm

from in behind the factory wall, where the shells
and the fish crates stink.
An awful smell, a hopeless
blue. That’s where you’re from.
Ah! I said, so I’m a daughter of the sea.
You’re a daughter of the day off.
Oh, I said,
I’m the daughter of the lunch break.
Yes, from in behind the wall with all the dross.


From Love my Lord (trans. Keith Payne)