Entry - MAG Poetry Prize 2010


by sophie king

Deep down an undulating
Gravel pathway
An urchin sidewalk
Steaming with a mist of flies
Indifferent as they
Buzz and swoop
Beg and sting
Baking heat
On leathered skin
Cracked heels torn
On a day that turns like
A bicycle wheel
Forever pounding the same rocky track
Clanking on the rails of despair
Manicured fingers click
Wide angled cameras
A snapshot
Scene and forgotten
Leather Gucci sandals
Hardly indent the
Dusty roadside
Coin in a palm
Tincture of sadness
For a world
Light-years away
Wealth in dog eared pages
Universal techno language
So misunderstood
Whilst poverty oozes
From diverse tangents
Drizzles on an arid
Patch of barren land

Added: 04.03.2010

Judges' comments on this poem


Very symptomatic of the British experience of 'day tripping' in its contemporary format. Felt bycle metaphor betrayed its elegance.


This poem contrasts rich and poor in a very visual way - I am reminded of the classic photograph of the rice sellers wife.