Collecting Seaglass

Penny Blackburn

Tide carved, sand sheared, 

shaped in undersea, worn 

by unknown currents. 


This piece, long-smoothed  

to candy dimensions,  

a boiled sweet that would never dissolve, 


would wear away the gums,  

break teeth. Its choke-throat beauty 

rattling in the skull. 


Or this, sea-sculpted  

to mimic a kidney, an opaque organ 

for a glass recipient. 


Those – rejected. Too much left 

of their edges, bladderwrack colours 

muddied against the sand. 


These – brought home, lined up carefully  

to send the shadows of waves 

cresting along the shelf. 

Penny Blackburn lives in the North East of England. She has appeared in a wide variety of publications, including pieces online in Atrium, Riggwelter and Ink, Sweat & Tears and in print with Poetry Society News, Fragmented Voices and Fly on the Wall. She is on Twitter and Facebook as @penbee8. Her pamphlet “A Taste for Bread” was published by Wild Pressed Books in March 2021.