Monday, 10 July 2017

Winner of the Leonardo Poetry Prize 2017: The Closing

by Isobel Kaye

In the early evening, the beach prepares for bed
And for the long sleep.
Random rocky structures protrude,
Like sequins sewn on to a yellow coat.
These gems, on closer inspection,
Are the shiny remnants of lost lives.

Across the shingle, in the shallow water, stands a godwit
On long elegant legs like a model on the catwalk,
Her fiery chest displayed and
Her long bill puncturing the soft, shifting land
In her ceaseless search
For worms and molluscs.

Further away, beyond the young wader,
The sea, chalybeous and calm, lies
Like cloth, spread out on the dressmaker's bench.
You can hear nothing,
Except perhaps the northerly winds in the distance,
Threatening to intrude.

Above this hushed landscape,
The dull sky puts on an old dressing gown
Generations old, but still there is energy.
Tiny, salty particles assail your nostrils,
While your eyes grow dim
At the closing of the day.


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