Laura Potts

Laura Potts is twenty-two years old and lives in West Yorkshire. Twice-recipient of the Foyle Young Poets Award, her work has appeared in Agenda, Prole and Poetry Salzburg Review. Having worked at The Dylan Thomas Birthplace in Swansea, Laura was last year listed in The Oxford Brookes International Poetry Prize and nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She also became one of The Poetry Business’ New Poets and a BBC New Voice for 2017. Laura’s first BBC radio drama aired at Christmas, and she received a commendation from The Poetry Society in 2018.

 

 

 

The Night Country
‘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.

© 2018 Laura Potts