Tuesday Dec 11

PennyNewell Penny Newell has a PhD from King’s College London. Her poems have featured in Hobart, The Cardiff Review, Alien Mouth and The Emma Press Anthology of Love (Emma Press), amongst others, and are forthcoming in Magma, The Southampton Review, The Portland Review and 3:AM. Penny is a commissioned writer for Lakes Ignite 2018, a Reader at Frontier Poetry, and runs the Cumbria Stand Up to Racism Network.
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A Source of Light


three of them, actually
one is the ring of Scottish laughs and faces
caps and flames flapping the wind the night
the sea-scene

a kid tired for lopping at wood
with an axe he finally grounds in sand

the other is all of the club toilets
sheet light on corrugated iron
a light for encouraging bacteria
LED brilliance, slick and anti-romantic

hanging on a string lashed across the car

the third is impermissible
first since the sun sank hours ago
second as it beams particle presence
from everything hands have touched

jetsam rocks are secretive and sullen
they deliver the light to the ground

off in the distance a folly of seagulls
spreads light contagion
from colds of chips, then up
through the supple sulphur sky

What is this light? what is this
sensation?

the car is a pocket on the seashore
holding a photo of all four of your fingers
wrapped around my index
all four of your fingers/ wrapped around my index

the listen brings the wind
arching its back over the car
to realise

it is protected by light
exposed by light
made here by light




sleeping aids


at some point the decision comes to take sleeping aids
to dowse my pillow in lavender, To drink in honeysuckle
Camomile
Echinacea
A––line
D––pam
B––nol
And other hot herbals

These hours test will and loneliness, As if
the universe were sleeping beyond my window, As if
this hell would bend into tomorrow, Carrying me alone

And so I stack cushions against the pane, Tuck bedding around the
doorframe, Seek a deep darkness that will not relinquish
The soft line between eyes closed and eyes open, Count backwards
from 2000 until I reach zero, Refuse to tally sheep
for the sake of my loose dignity remains

Through the day that follows, The coalescence of borders
comes for me

months relish seasons into realisation
Stack,     Black,     Promise of years spent like this
inside accidents, Inside obsoletion

This is certain death, To leave this is certain death
even sleep is not an escape, It sees
red-hatched horror, Rodded and sick dream:

Below the sea level
There are ground-nesting birds, Below the heather
There is an ocean of sadness
Dense as granite