Hammer by Louise Peterkin

Louise Peterkin is a poet who lives and works in Edinburgh. Her work has featured in publications such as New Writing Scotland, The Dark Horse, and The North. In 2016 she received a New Writers Award for Poetry from the Scottish Book Trust.

Hammer is Louise’s homage to the film production company famous for their gothic horror features, and for the strangely, deliciously cosy feeling they bring…




Nothing can hurt you here,
where the mummies crumble like Stilton.
These are the icons of fear:
a chapel, a tavern, a castle risen
o’er dark Germanic forest,
dense as frightened hair.
Each prop: a cipher. A dripping
Shrouded in blankets on the sofa.
Nothing can hurt you here.

Nothing can hurt you here,
where the credits trickle down the screen,
bright red, a pallet of blood,
a spectrum of dread.
But the staked heart froths over
like raspberry Cremola Foam,
the test tubes in the lab are hot-pink, cerise,
the colour of sweets.
This is Victorian England in nuclear fall-out.
Nothing can hurt you here.

Nothing can hurt you here
where the carriage hurtles towards sunset.
The hooves, the neighing, the swaying
of the awful cargo.
I want to hear Peter Cushing,
his diction like needles, or the bones of china dolls.
If the doorbell rings I’ll fashion a cross
from a mop and a broom.
A local wench screams. Her bosoms
Heave like a soprano’s.
Nothing can hurt you here.

You can reach Louise via email, louise.peterkin@ed.ac.uk. More of her work can be found here.