Marcus Ten Low: ‘Tofu’ and ‘Amputee’


Teach ’em tofu.
It’s just a block. White. Firm or soft,
It is responsive to a finger-press.

The squares move and shake, stirred
About on the pan,
Mesmerising our eyes,
Tantalising our tongues;

It may bubble in oils,
It might grow golden and seep in diffidence;

Or made for soups and salads
And every little pastry thing,

Or crumbled in between the fingers,
Delightful and deserved.

Its taste?
Both everything, and nothing.
But it surely leaves you wanting …
For more. Packed with protein, calcium,
And so much more power!

Marcus Ten Low



One leg becomes that of a robot
Somewhere near the top.
The foot at its base is squeegy,
With a spring in the step.

A vision of The Terminator rises,
Mortalised, to my wincing
At the man’s pained history.

“A blinding blur, growing”
“It was excruciating for that second”
“Could have been much worse”—

He plods on, the anecdotes
And commiserations fuming
Only to my distressed eyes—

But all of these, just lies,
Are discarded from his paces,
When they do not serve;

Sheer economy, and a return
To happiness equal to that of his past,
Make me the fool, squandering

Mile upon mile of soppy sorryness.

Marcus Ten Low

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