2022 – Chanctonbury Cup Winner

Red Admiral in Winter

By Fran Tristram

Sporting sultry nightclub finery in full sun
rich black velvet sizzling red pure white
frayed and tattered from long winter’s night
you dare to risk a taste of February fun

Drink up Daphne’s heady nectar till you’re done
outstretched wings soak up the precious light
till passing shadows stir you into drunken flight
and break the magic this false-Spring light has spun

What hunger woke you from hibernation?
I wonder at the courage that it took
to weather storms and icy inundations
when you your winter hideaway forsook
for one last dance: a sparkling farewell salutation –
the deadly jewelled frost a final glittering decoration