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.