By Laura Potts

‘The undiscovered country from whose bourn
No traveler returns’ – Hamlet.

Old winter hour, gloam and the glow
of this last evening fire, after the time
of the cold and away from my last-gasp
hourglass and this passing grey; after
the far-cast dust of my day when the half-
light fields breathe dark in the dusk,

from this terminal night and the drums
of Carthage rung in those my passing bells;
out in the darkland dells where the dead
lambs bleat, from the moorside wells
where the madmen sleep and the sun
does not tear into rooms anymore;
where no morning comes, and the lungs

of the hills rise black in the smoke. Oh,
glow of the land on the night’s far-side
where the lantern-light and the lightning
spine are the time of childhood alone,
yesterday’s echo in my broken-bell
throat, and the stardrop ponds where I
rocked and rolled and used to laugh
show a burnt and black-lipped Medusa.

Remember this last: that after the snap
of my hospital heart, that after the stars
in my eyes dim dark and the nightjars long
in my absence cry, I’ll take all of the feet
of the fields in my stride. Up and out
of the night country, with all of the valley’s
white rage at my back, I’ll tear up the forest,
the fire, the fog-fallen towers and flute-stem
flowers which rise through the cracks of these
churchyard bones. This home slows to black,

and I won’t look back.

 

 

 

Laura Potts is twenty-two years old and lives in West Yorkshire. Twice-recipient of the Foyle Young Poets Award, her work has been published by Aesthetica, The Moth and The Poetry Business. Having worked at The Dylan Thomas Birthplace in Swansea, Laura was nominated for The Pushcart Prize and became one of the BBC’s New Voices last year. Her first BBC radio drama aired at Christmas. She received The Mother’s Milk Writing Prize and a commendation from The Poetry Society in 2018.

Her personal website is www.laurapottspoet.com

 

 

 

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