Winners 2016

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Grace Fraser (Commended)

Hartismere High School, Suffolk

UFO Beach Abduction

They came on the biting February wind,
A throng of boom mics and telephoto lenses, biros cocked,
To trace the ghosts of footprints
Along the beachfront, laying their shoes in the sandy imprints,
Tracking the trail to where, hidden from the dog walkers
By thick marram grass tufts, sat a
Freakishly circular scorch mark,
An angry tar black stab wound in the dunes and
Above it the gulls careened as airborne mourners.
Down at the water’s mouth, where feet stampeded with satisfying cracks,
Sits a fringe of razor clams,
Their slimy innards abducted from their shells.
The dandelions are a toothbrush splash of colour,
A sparse haze of yellow; tiny warning lights.
The wind whips hair sharp against their cheeks and
The tips of the pine trees have been blasted to a
Fine ash, they sway with the people
Who tilt their heads to the sky and squint.
In the sand gulleys lies handfuls of strange sea litter – a pinch of barnacles,
Spidery seaweed messes and gleaming exoskeletons,
All the sad subjects of the tide.
The air can feel so very dense – suddenly silence.
Like you’re in the compression chamber of a loaded gun.
But everyone was holding their breath
When the fronts of the tabloids, emblazoned with nothing but
What amounted to question marks,
Held the images of sandcastles
With decorations of human molars
And redundant clam shells,
With fingernails resting inside.

Project Details

  • Date April 20, 2016
  • Tags 2016 Wonder - Winning Poems