Two Poems by Stephen Kingsnorth

Rust

Why turning rust leaves on the trees
paint wonder – but not metal form,
the oxide scar, green metal bench?
Both witness chemicals at work;
the autumn auxin taking charge,
so damp air driving season’s cost.
A copper beech, the chestnut bract,
fall flaking branch, strip modesty;
yet next that picnic bench neglect,
with viridescent bottle mold,
its palette range a mirror work?
Would pristine tree in summer dress,
unchanging, satisfy our eye?
Why should our plant, this country seat,
not share the turning of the year?

“Rust” first published by Ariel Chart


Sycamore

The story of this sycamore,
as ancient lore, a tree of life,
whose squirrels gather winter store,
if where forgotten, sapling grows.
The canopy, a hiding place,
nuthatches headfirst, make their mark
uncurling bark, find canapés,
beak garibaldi, biscuit bugs.
The green man, universal sign,
a deity, a jack of all –
who else is hidden by the climb,
horizon scan from vantage point,
to see above the crowd below?
There is a man, against the grain,
who rudely asks himself to lunch;
it seems he shakes the fruit from tree.

“Sycamore” first published by The Dawntreader




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 at https://poetrykingsnorth.wordpress.com.

“Spit And Polish” by Stephen Kingsnorth

I love sheen, floribunda leaves,
bright red-green cushion, perfume, bloom,
but gardener forked, spread dung beneath,
under the rosebush, scattered muck.

When dust seems layered everywhere
and all needs polish, drawing out,
I start, patina, table top,
to reach the waxing moon at last.

So every grey, sad tattered thing,
needs riches drawn – from horse or bee –
that donkey outlaw, label worn,
cut palm fronds, coronation ride.

This fleshy husk needs burnish too,
obese fat folds that ripple still,
just as in cradle cot, pink buff,
a foot, note gloss of baby oil.

And there’s the rub – rejected, old,
as lamp from which the Jinn arose –
for truth is not glazed, varnished dream,
but where rejected meets our need.




Stephen Kingsnorth (Cambridge M.A., English & Religious Studies), retired to Wales from ministry in the Methodist Church, has had over 250 pieces published by on-line poetry sites, including Sparks of Calliope, printed journals and anthologies. https://poetrykingsnorth.wordpress.com/

“Past Death” by Stephen Kingsnorth

2021 Best of the Net Nominee

I did not know her, here laid out,
a careful combing of the hair
not as I’d known it set before –
forehead laid bare, cleared silver strands;
not of my choosing, frame beside.

But father told he wanted this,
a final farewell to his wife,
though he knew, as did I, full-well,
she long had left; this trolley bare,
enforced that spirit flown the room.

By absence seeping beads drawn down –
the knowledge that we paused alone,
skeletal cage deserted now.
And since, the question posed myself –
should I dissuade through queries raised?

Poor memory’s now fixed in place –
this mask should not replace her face;
some say dread visit reinforced
that shock fires mould of empty clay –
unnecessary proof for me.

For him, for his, I dare not say;
the sixty years entitle him
to linger, lose, yet loose again
the bond and knots that tied them close.
And sons accompany past death.




Stephen Kingsnorth (Cambridge M.A., English & Religious Studies), retired to Wales from ministry in the Methodist Church, has had over 180 pieces published by on-line poetry sites, including Sparks of Calliope, printed journals and anthologies.

https://poetrykingsnorth.wordpress.com/