Mick Jenkinson (British Working Class Poets)

Mick Jenkinson

 

Mick Jenkinson is a poet, songwriter, musician & freelance arts practitioner from Doncaster. He is a Community Advisor for Right Up Our Street - a nationally funded project with the aim of increasing arts engagement in the Doncaster region - and delivers song writing and poetry writing workshops. Mick runs Well Spoken, a monthly poetry performance evening held at Doncaster Brewery, and his second poetry pamphlet, When the Waters Rise, was published by Calder Valley Poetry in November 2019.

 

 

WIs This What Leaving Feels Like?

 

Is winter over? It appears to be

dragging its heels

between the then and now

where you and I would have no part to play

 

And even when I think I am prepared

with plans in place

my best intentions firm

the phone can always catch me unawares

 

Someone or something I don’t want to leave

sowing confusion

fanning the flames against

the forces always pulling us apart

 

You quickly learn when you live in this town

leaving’s a train

that’s headed north or south

to somewhere you’ll most likely not belong

 

Yet I believe there’s someone out there still

who waits for me

I am convinced of it

if I can only shake these fetters off

 

I read somewhere about a palace of mirrors

One candle flame

illuminates the whole

and lately it’s the only dream I have

 

One Thing More

 

His fingers kept time on the hospital tray

whose frame cantilevered the width of the bed -

we knew that his breath was slipping away.

 

His free hand held mine and he asked me to stay;

it went without saying - we left it unsaid.

His fingers kept time on the hospital tray.

 

His skin somewhat colder, complexion more grey;

the calm in his eyes was tempering my dread -

we knew that his breath was slipping away.

 

I think of the things it’s my duty to say;

words won’t form sentences inside my head.

His fingers kept time on the hospital tray.

 

There is one thing more, his eyes seem to say

then it’s time I faced what lies up ahead.

We knew that his breath was slipping away.

 

He reached for the mask, pulled it sharply away

I’m proud of all you’ve achieved, he said.

His fingers kept time on the hospital tray -

we knew that his breath was slipping away.

 

Past Brodsworth

 

It starts with a tightening of the throat,

prickling of the skin of my scalp

and the hairs tangibly on end

along the back of my arms and neck.

I am reliving with sensory overload

my Gran tugging at my coat;

pulling me against the wind

along the Roman Ridge.

 

Before the railways marked the land,

before the mines reconstructed our domain,

go back and back as far as you dare

to see what then was there.

Through famine, plague and flood;

through affluence and plenty,

incursion and invasion –

the slow collecting together of what we are.

 

This is where it began;

where they paused and they observed

the crossing of the river and the lie of the land.

And they put down tentative roots,

fashioned shelter and protection,

brought their children, gods and animals

into this valley

that we now call home.


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