1st, Short Category 2006 - Lesley Kelly

A seafarer furnished my house

with a well-travelled nautical clock
right twice a day
and tightly wound as an argument
ready at any minute
to fling its springs
high in the air
like an old man's cry for his nurse.

Lesley Kelly

Judge's comments

This grew on me slowly but steadily, and continues growing. It does what every poem, and certainly every short poem, should always do, and makes every word, every syllable count. That the lack of punctuation is not merely an affectation is highlighted by the line-breaks, which are perfectly placed to guide the rhythm and heighten the tension. Best of all, despite the tight control that the poet exerts over the writing, the reader is still left plenty of room to get inside the poem and create their own background story, and that’s what makes it so enjoyable to re-read again and again.