January 2, 2018 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

paul morris photo



Penn Kemp




Rise and Shine



This January when double doors open back and

forth, turn your face to the rear. Who’s there but

shadows, looming in the corners under cobwebs?


As your eyes adjust to the gloom, they perceive

difference, shades of distinction, diverse shades

along the grey scale. Scaly amphibians straight


out of the Jurassic. Scary Neanderthals, hairy

and club-ready to protect or attack. You can only

hope they’re on your side of this communal bed.


Long lines of ancestors wave and bow, ready to

speak in languages you never in this life knew but

vaguely recall, resounding along time’s long tunnel.


Forward and back, the voices call and collect one

another to pass their message along. Can you hear

what they are crying? Flotillas of odd memory rise


like ice floes floating, then sink below again along

with the thermometer. From eleven below to eleven

above in hours. Then they fall back below freezing.


The old ones are stirring, rising from bone beds to

raise the alarm high. It’s too early. Or is it too late?

The alarm reverberates in your ears, startling you to


new determination, starting from zero, inviting new

colour to return with the day, actively absorbing old

prototypes into new design, emerging, nearly ready.






Penn Kemp

Penn Kemp is an activist Canadian poet, playwright and editor.  Her latest works are two plays celebrating local hero and explorer, Teresa Harris, produced in 2017 and published by Playwrights Guild of Canada. Recent books include Barbaric Cultural Practice (quattrobooks.ca/books/barbaric-cultural-practice/) and two anthologies edited, Women and Multimedia and Performing Women (http://poets.ca/feministcaucus/livingarchives/). See www.pennkemp.weebly.com.

Editor review


No Comments Yet!

You can be first to comment this post!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.