Winnats Pass

Winnats Pass

Time is chipped enamel, a grinding
of molars, the appearance of cavities.
We are sieved through its jaws.

In front of its teeth there are only
our tongues, which grow moss.
Our eyes lick the cones of the hills.

The wind tunes the gaps in the gully,
sets our incisors on edge. This brokenness
goes back forever. Old jaws fail to clamp;

their outcrops roll in loose sockets.
Rocks have a trick, here, of sloughing off
solidity, shrugging their shoulders.

They let us pick through their leavings:
rowan trunks, harebells, brachiopods,
coral. The land lies: tosses out

waves, ancient cockles, serves up
a fish stew of geology. We pass
time. Again, we’re underwater.


Winnats Pass won the Sentinel Literary Quarterly poetry competition in April/May 2015. Picture by Alex Donohoe used under Creative Commons licence.