Ross Thompson, Bangor
Great energy to this poem, eerie and interesting with a use of unusual language. The judges loved the line, “the moon appeared to ripple as if reflected/ in a bucket…”, they felt like this exploded in the middle of the poem.
Arcing through a silent ocean
of infinite stars refracted upon infinite stars,
hundreds of miles above the earth,
you gazed through a feathered window,
past the lens blinking back at you.
With one eye closed, you rolled the moon
like a gleaming dime, back and forth
between your finger and thumb.
Slowly, breath by breath, it grew in size
until it filled your encircled fingers
like the bulb of a torch, then burned as brightly
as the magnesium ribbon you once lit
during that fateful Chemistry lesson last period,
Wednesday afternoon, twenty years before.
The moon appeared to ripple, as if reflected
in a bucket, then pulsed with the surge
of a million kettles, match point,
Wimbledon final, height of summer.
There were record temperatures that year.
Now your face graces a neat set
of commemorative stamps
while your darling wife tosses and turns
in half a bed, her pillow wet. In her dreams
a tiny silver speck
through the black.