Author of the Month: Stephen Kingsnorth

Stephen Kingsnorth

As with the artist, wedded brush
and palette, frame to bring to birth,
the poet’s quill to craft skilled verse,
so dance from choreography,
or melody from noted score,
they’re joined, one creativity,
each artist’s oeuvre, anthology,
that spatial moment, playlist range.
Tuned, the guitarist’s mountain range,
from bridge to capo, string along,
its picking, plucking, gutsy air
can sound the music of the spheres.
I’m whole, that’s when the chords rejoice,
a quiver as heartstrings are tugged,
for all are born to be yet more,
one solo share as body part,
soul becoming the instrument
of change and growth, our commonwealth.


That lore began with fishermen,
not turquoise though, flash orange breast,
when longsight watching from the bank,
turned dart, dive, stab, that skewered snap
and then blink waiting, sightless flab,
before tilt toss, right angled beak,
regurgitate, feed mushy squish.

Some think lore story halcyon,
that misty call beside the lake,
the winsome blue eye, glossy hair,
a gentle query on the air.
I wonder, if met, chewing fat, 
a reputation gone before,
that gossip, fever in the air,
yet calm, in spotlight, fisher king?

How come abandoned family,
home, employees, boat with crew,
said sample of profundity,
obedience in passing phrase,
imperative that beached so much?
When, longsight watching from the bank,
turned dart, dive, stab, that question snap,
and then blink waiting, vision flap,
before tilt toss, right angled peek,
to feed nest hungry, milky pap?

Season’s Heart

You’ve seen by igloo, Inuit,
carved leather face, behind grey pelt
clamped teeth, hint smile, squint starlit eyes -
yet knows the summer in his life
as treks with sledge through icepack sludge.

You’ve seen by sheet tent, refugee,
smooth satin face, behind white trail
gap pegs, sad mouth, wide sloe-black eyes -
as knows the winter in his life
as treks with pail through campsite sludge.


Hold scapegoat bull, embrace its hump,
retrieve bagged coins from its horns, 
beast of man in combat locked,
bone in skin, hard keratin,
ox tale displaying cameos,
another sum of parts in play.

Pit right of steer and rites of tribe,
the rise and fall, each plot revealed,
village type, community
contest set, ban and recant,
repeated cant as favours sought,
as we see selves they fail to be.

Myths, ancient, played before our eyes,
see Jacob, Esau, Abel, Cain,
hero scum, torchlight parade,
human mirror, Taurus claimed,
but which is beast, mankind furore,
drowned buffalo in mud, a mob?


We hear of writing on the wall,
we know inscriptions on the soul,
but bodies too, a library -
both dress and presentation style.
Then vellum may be our own skin,
not dried up hide, beasts of the field,
but open frame, capillaries,
a canvassed proposition, claim, 
flesh declarations, loyalties -
the ink blood flow, that page tattoo.
Some partners, now blurred memories,
those knights of revels, every port,
knuckled hate, love, other hand,
raised fist, high five or bicep script -
ancestral patterns on their trunks,
own tree of life for all to see.
Cross my palms with gold, she said,
and I’ll reveal what lies ahead.
But I suspect what judgement is,
for palms were laid, before a cross;
then, body markings, sorry tale,
red letter day for arrogant.

Bio Stephen Kingsnorth
Stephen Kingsnorth (Cambridge M.A., English & Religious Studies), retired to Wales from ministry in the Methodist Church, has had some 300 pieces published by on-line poetry sites, printed journals and anthologies, most recently The Parliament Literary Magazine, Ariel Chart International Literary Journal, Poetry Potion, Grand Little Things.

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