As it swishes in the wind,
The forest leaves may begin
The eye of a tiger may have a glimpse.
The feet many have been once in a shelf.
The outing fits with the simmering above,
The swishing river below has a dark glow.
Heavy shard of crystals just shine.
The magic that is revealed has to be real
So what you’re seeing has been
The time has come for the very last sum
The crystals may have amethyst gum
The force awakens from the dark hollow cave.
This poem was highly commended for Poetry Object 2018
‘Amphibian’ builds up a strange and enigmatic overall picture through fleeting glimpses of smaller, individual parts: ‘feet’ and ‘forest leaves’, ‘The eye of a tiger’ and ‘The swishing river’. Each detail is presented and then whisked away, emerging and receding into darkness, so that we are never sure where (or when) we are.
The use of occasional end rhyme—‘wind’ and ‘begin’, ‘sum’ and ‘gum’—as well as the seemingly primeval setting, gives us the sense that we have entered the space of a fairytale or myth. I loved the ominous tone throughout, and the idea of something portentous stirring in the final line.
~ Bella Li, Judge, Poetry Object 2018
Watch our Poetry Object 2018 Winning Poems Animation