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3rd prize - 2015

Photograph of Mark Totterdell

Mark Totterdell lives in Devon and works as a copywriter. His first published poem appeared in his school magazine in 1977; his second followed thirty-three years later. Since then he has been widely published in magazines and has had some competition success. His first collection, This Patter of Traces, was published by Oversteps Books in 2014.

Brent by Mark Totterdell

Splinters of burnt pinewood
spliced with slivers of arctic ice,

heads darker than charcoal,
rumps whiter than the cold heat of wood-ash,

stumps of time-blackened timber,
a seahenge exposed and animate,

sauropod necks that arc and stretch
as they feed and feud on mud

in fluid clusters, subsets
of an uncountable multitude,

a sudden blizzard of smuts,
a flurry of clucking throat-barks,

marks drawn with unconscious art
onto a broad sheet of winter water.

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