2016 Basil Bunting Poetry Award First Prize
The Limpet & the Drill-Tongued Whelk
Across the rockpool floor, a limpet grazes –
a stray magician’s cup,
moon-textured, the shape of light
pointing through frosted glass.
It is a modest party hat
in which something like a head resides
oblivious of this dog whelk
that pads against the thick, still brine
and climbs upon the limpet –
an ornate seat upon an elephant.
Carnivorous mollusc, tiny fracking rig
clocking in with its drill-tongue, clutching
as the limpet rises from the stone,
to become half-mushroom, half bucking bronco.