Spiky squishy in the dark
Under wood sand and bark
Rough and dry with a crooked tail
Tummy red but sometimes pale
Crawling up from underneath
Up above now from beneath
In the sun with back and all
Standing high and standing tall
Big red eyes and pointy nose
And little tiny small red toes

This poem was highly commended for Poetry Object 2015

Judge's Notes:
"This is a wonderfully accomplished poem. Even within its tightly ordered form, the language and turns of thought remain surprising and feel free. Also, this poet has a great sense of rhythm. This means that the rhyme scheme does not control the whole poem and make its only music; there is always another music at work within the lines: the melody of the phrases as well as the drum beat of the rhymes. The last line is so effective partly because all those quick syllables in a row give such a sense of the Bearded Dragon’s toes.

"This poem is also remarkable for how it builds action into its description. Take, for instant, that beautifully economical use of prepositions: ‘up above now from beneath’. Here is the bearded dragon’s movement in five words. There is admirable boldness in such restraint. To understand what those five words mean, the reader has to picture the bearded dragon moving. At once, the poem is alive in the reader’s mind, and unforgettable."
~Lisa Gorton, Poetry Object Judge 2015