“Antiquity” by Stephen Kingsnorth

You like patina on the wood,
its aging through the tears,
with blood, sweat, oils of handy use,
its story, tales ingrained.
But I want coating too, of rust,
the oxides, oxygen;
that moisture of the air we breathe,
an episode as well.
So weather mist, or mizzle dress
are part holistic soul
of earth, its seven ages span
from birth, oblivion.
What turn of years to vintage, kitsch,
or antique within reach?
The attic find, shard pot of Greece,
poor price, contrasted art.
If aeon loan, the grain of sand,
knew time alone was priced,
sea shelves, gold bars of strand, sure lines
were banks of wealth themselves.
Our iron filings, record cards,
list tools, that ancient phase.
That one alone could claim the name
proves heavy, claim to fame.
So somewhere in the past are stored
the myths of human roots,
those courses antecedents walked,
through wisdom, folly, choice.
The proud stand clear above the smooth,
like nails on crosspiece tree,
and flaking metal, hammer, spear,
tell, as aside, a piece
of what can be, in deepest soil,
our commonwealth on earth.
There is a fruit, patina, rust,
our legend, planet earth.

Stephen Kingsnorth (Cambridge M.A., English & Religious Studies), retired to Wales from ministry in the Methodist Church, has had some 350 pieces published by online poetry sites, including Sparks of Calliope, printed journals, and anthologies. Find more about Stephen at https://poetrykingsnorth.wordpress.com.