Winners 2014

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Masha Voyles (Third prizewinner)

Charterhouse, Surrey

Bat Child Found!

Imagine, for one moment, ladies and gentleman
The antichrist, scooped from his bassinette,
A cave, where water drops like castanets,
For one frame: his face, ugly as a hatchet.

The camera flashes. Front-page stuff,
This prince of darkness in the buff,
Screams at the flashing lens in scorn,
Shows teeth the shape of candy corn.

He was so happy in his grotto
He ate eight times his weight in bugs,
Glistening roaches, steaming slugs
Drinking blood with thirsty glugs.

The burbling demon blinks back tears
Twitching pointy velvet ears.
What plastic God or drunken crazes
Framed his face with yellow phrases?

The poor bat baby screams with rage
Invented for the glossy page.

© Masha Voyles, 2014