By Nick MacKinnon
At the beginning of our universe
when it was still an unhedged acre,
light filled its horizon like clotted cream
so you could scoop it up with a spoon,
and if God saw it, all God saw was light.
Our dog sees oil-seed rape in shades of grey,
but his nose, that can smell a molecule
of rat sweat blown across a county, is dazzled;
this no-man's-land of honey-mustard gas
is like being at the big bang for a dog.
There are rabbits in this universe of rape
whose thought of dog is only bark-bark-bark
so scattered by the packed diffraction grating
of spiny stems that expert ears can't localise
dog as dog in panic-blur of dog threat.
At the stile's Copernican vantage point
we see dog as disturbance in rape-shimmer,
a cosmic ray track in a bubble chamber,
his friendly furry willingness reduced
to appearance of appearance on our retinas.
Nearly got it now: the rape flowers
are gold dust on gravitation field lines
showing the contours of this dog-warped
space-time like iron filings round a magnet,
a universe unbounded if you're in it.
Except that just beyond the edge of vision
you almost see the rape field broadcasting
its ultraviolet reality to insects
who are true viewers and know this gold is purple.
A dog turns up, happy and rabbitless.
• This poem won the Keats-Shelley poetry prize 2012 this week.