Entry - MAG Poetry Prize 2010


by Ruby Robinson

Somehow you led me home and told me again
of the emperor Shennong’s cup of warm spring water
under a tree of falling leaves. The way some leaves
fell in, browning the water. In Namche Bazaar
we held a bowl in both hands and curled the yak
butter fat and condensed milk about our tongues
as the oily smoke curled about the blackened kettle,
hanging battered, spout like a duck’s beak,
above the fire. Today, in our kitchen, a person
pours and speaks, instead of you, of flavanoides,
amino acids, vitamins, polysaccharides, three minute
brewing time, a clean spoon, a hot cup.
At base camp, bed tea was brought to the tent
at sunrise. You were laughing as you recalled
symptoms of dehydration: headache, dry mouth,
dizziness on standing. Lack of tears when crying.

Added: 02.02.2010

Judges' comments on this poem


This poem is very well constructed. The last line is incredibly powerful.


What a gloriously beautiful poem.


Fantastic use of words in this poem to create a suggestion


Really liked this. U evoke sense of the romantic,mystical,loss,time passing, contrasts. Really well controlled. Last phrase packs a punch


Thought it pretentious at first, but then I found it captured the flavour (!) of the faraway places. Especially liked stanza 2.


A nice scenario well written