One tree pulled through folds in time
Two friends running, chatting, laughing, crafting
Three unique mundane birds twittering away
Four hiding holes hidden between the smooth, warm rocks
Five giant boulders to climb on
A thousand blades of grass rustling in the breeze
A million memories infused in a single, twisted, tortuous twig
A thousand drenched orange leaves fluttering off trees
Five trees with wet bark after a rainstorm
Four long, makeshift twigs to choose from
Three cars roaring by
Two not-so-carefree minds on a boiling hot winter's day
One memory-filled, hand-crafted, ancient bow.

This poem was highly commended for Poetry Object 2018

Judge's notes:
The use of numbers gives ‘A Twisted Count’ a strong structure and dynamic range: we begin with ‘One’, progress to ‘A million’, and then count back down to ‘One’. Images often contain startling juxtapositions—birds are both ‘unique’ and ‘mundane’, the ‘winter’s day’ is ‘boiling hot’—and time and space are playfully stretched and condensed, so that a tree can be ‘pulled through folds in time’ and ‘a single, twisted tortuous twig’ can be ‘infused’ with ‘A million memories’. There is a heady sense that we are moving in and between worlds that are both familiar and strange, ancient and contemporary.

~ Bella Li, Judge, Poetry Object 2018
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