Three Poems By Stephen Kingsnorth

Faithful 

Our autumn’s tale is early spring,
the shedding flesh, for future, full,
a sediment, organic soil,
foundation for erupting life,
rebirth of that, apparent dead.

So even what nature consumes,
as squirreled, flap of wing or tail,
or plant flesh, when the snail finds home,
is processed, passed, a potent mix,
the bedding to regenerate.

Losing my grip, the leaf stem says,
the end has come, replies the twig;
there is no future, fears the branch,
but all around, what faith achieves,
the cycle, global planet spin.
Ditty

Engagement ring, that promises
a soul companion, route ahead,
is that the sounding, early found,
or silence, bore, irrelevance.

It closes eyes, it covers ears,
yet rhymes and speaks as though it knows,
or wanders, streaming, author’s terms,
in self-consuming diatribe.

It forgets how the reader breathes,
the pumping valves that supplies beat,
fails hunger pangs both mind and heart,
tries cliché riven nourishment.

The rhyming ends enforced despite,
leaves awkward when not mood’s intent,
is sentimental - shock required,
or strident soapbox - calm desired.

Though prophet, shepherd, both have place,
their space is earned as in the field;
the better voice, comfort, rebuke,
is only heard through empathy.
Luggage Rack

As milestones marked our footstep paths -
dry autumn leaves, hope’s crocus cups -
those comfort customs of the past,
the fire against creep evening chills,
spring cleaning, cobwebs, soot grime, dust,
first strawberries, Dad’s birthday treat;
all erased by tidal time.
Quay farewells, never see again, 
now docked as zoomed reunions -
global markets, iPhone pads,
far continental on our shelves,
warm hugs now flat on wavy screens. 

Atop the wardrobe, monolith,
still standing, stone mahogany,
the empty suitcase, leather straps,
clasps that held our week-break props;
a seaside week on shingle beach,
mould jelly fish, pinch bucket crabs,
rock pools, rust spade, stick flimsy net.
change paradise, haar better smog,

Patina from our hand claw grip,
stain greaseproof from our picnic wrap -
a fish paste sandwich, hard boiled egg -
at five, the loco wonder, steam
and rattle rhythm of the track,
each clack a point towards the sea,
clip guard, the grunt with accent burr,
a ticket to yesterday, the fare
to castles in the brine sand air.

Now luggage rack above her clothes,
thick overcoat for winter storms,
a summer dress hemmed in by moths,
her bathing cap, worn rubber torn,
while stuffed beside, in ottoman,
the lilac bedspread, eiderdown
which once bound us as one, frost nights.
A slack for muscles, taut flexed, stretched,
a shallow place to catch our breath,
a private space, confessional,
lie for your heart - now rest, my dear.

Stephen Kingsnorth (Cambridge M.A., English & Religious Studies), retired to Wales from ministry in the Methodist Church, has had pieces published by on-line poetry sites, printed journals and anthologies.  https://poetrykingsnorth.wordpress.com/         

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