Skip to content

Penny Blackburn

How Knowledge Happens

They had no idea how bats
moved so certain-winged in the dark,
stalactite ceilings no obstacle
to flight
in their cave-roof roosts.

Streaming out
as black-boned smoke
from the cavern mouth;
stark shapes at dusk, each insect prey
detected, devoured.

Science covered their eyes.
Each bat, undeterred,
flew room-round just as swift.

“Their eyes then, gentlemen,
are not the mark
of motion
that these creatures use.”

But in science there must be undoubted
their eyes removed –
just to be sure.


Penny Blackburn lives in the North East of England and is a teacher by profession. As well as writing poetry she enjoys performing it ‘off-page’ as part of local open mic and spoken word events. She also writes short fiction.


Belinda Rimmer

The Science of Jumping

Born of birds
I suited the science of jumping.
For years, plimsoll shod I’d leap through the air,
land bottom-up in the midst of a stormy sandpit.

I won medals, courted crowds
who shouted my name with trumpet breath.
I believed in everlasting childhood.
Hated the dull hunched ache of breasts.
They threw me off kilter –
no more hop, skip, jump.

In dreams I’m often perched in trees –
a tribute to that time
when I was born of birds.


Belinda has worked as a psychiatric nurse, lecturer and arts practitioner. Her poems are published in magazines, on-line journals and anthologies. In 2017, she won the Poetry in Motion Competition to turn her poem into a film, since shown Internationally. In April, she supported Gill McEvoy at Cheltenham Poetry Festival.
Twitter: @belrimmer