Treasure Island

Simon Armitage

(26 May 1963 / Marsden, West Yorkshire)

The Golden Toddy


We hunted, swept the planet pole to pole
to capture a glimpse of that rare species.

Through a thermal lens we spotted a shoal,
picked up the trail of nuggety faeces,

then tagged the shiniest beast in the pride,
mounted a camera on its gleaming horn,
bolted a microphone into its hide.
A first: toddies in flight, asleep, in spawn . . .

After months in the field, the broken yolks
had gilded and glazed the presenter's boots;
the sponsor's lover wore a precious skull
for a brooch, out-glinting the best boy's tooth.

Rank bad form. But the creature itself shone,
perched on the clapper-board, the golden one.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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