You have one day left to support the proposal to make the Headington Shark a heritage site. The Shark is mostly associated with the owner of the house Bill Heine seen in this pic. Bill was my friend but the artist JOHN BUCKLEY who made it should be better known.

John is a much under celebrated artist and modest too. When I interviewed him, he forgot to tell me that because of his work as a war artist working for the Land Mines Advisory Group, he went to Stockholm with the charity to collect their Nobel Peace Prize! It wasn’t on his website or the MAG website! I attach John’s story.  His work has been on the cutting edge raising awareness of human rights abuses not often talked about.

Read his story here .John Buckley

Oxford City Council spent 6 years trying to get them to take the shark down. During the long boring enquiry John sketched. He has found them!  He will show them for the first time at the Oxford Indie Book Fair on April 2.

John recently made this bronze model of the shark house.

In my forthcoming memoir  Food of Love .. I mention the Headington shark as a symbol that in life, we need to expect the unexpected.

When I saw John’s sculpture Embrace, it led me to write a poem about it. (below) Embrace was intended for the Berlin Wall but when that came down the idea was abandoned. I suggested a wall much closer in  Belfast .


Joined at the hip; you have tasted the apple.

whatever tension, whatever the pain

Be bound -wrapped around -inseparable.


Trapped in tender embrace you struggle.

you ask why and how together you came

Joined at the hip; you have tasted the apple.


From different communities you blame

the other, you fight, you cry, you soften,

you are bound – wrapped around -inseparable.


One from the church; the other the chapel.

A fateful kiss and God willing amen

joined at the hip; you have tasted the apple.


With distrust and hate you must still wrestle

but as you battle your bindings stiffen.

You are bound – wrapped around – inseparable.


Stand upon the wall and be a symbol.

Bask in sun, survive the rain and remain,

joined at the hip; you have tasted the apple.

Be bound- wrapped around-inseparable