By Stephen Kingsnorth
You know, like dough, a verse needs rest, before again you wrestle words, or like a smith you hammer, beat, to smash the molten into shape. Now does it sizzle, tip dipped, cool, or maybe back to furnace heat, avoid pig-iron, brittle work, when best is wrought through sweated toil? If horse to ride its shoes must fit - when hanging on the stable door, if luck to hold, the cup side up, unless its bolted, lettuce crop. I never know the course it takes, from metal gate with serif curls, to furlong race - watch betting slip - or veggie patch that’s gone to seed? Our scribe needs space, that yeast ferments, and time to prove, for crust or slump - as musing, rise through mystery, as rising, muse on secrecy. Though flatbreads have their uses too; unleavened, signifies a feast. So who can tell, the poet’s yield, in giving way, or fruitful field?
The ways of water, bubble flap, rare reflection, pool of glass, is it greeting, wave farewell, rapids, whirlpool, H2O, eddy, vortex, maelstrom pull? Joined-up writing in the past, rolled up, scrolled up billet-doux, tied, pink ribbon in a bow, to and fro from message passed, corresponding to the last. Word games warped by curlicues, closed with kisses in a row, X - a letter from yesterday, graphite mark, axis of love, ballot spoiled, but poll for show. His message gushing, rush of pulse, spouts of passion, showers on cue, currents crossed with undertow, stream of conscience next his style, filling reservoir where mired. Signoff, moniker of hugs, scented paper, pheromones, all mixed up, emotions weighed, anger stamped as all wrapped up, frank, a few years too late, post.
Colours go to different lengths, waving to their counterparts, complementing in an arc, striking wall and window frame. Something quaint for those who pass, more for those who pause beside - though house outside, home inside. There timber beam flesh, quarry bone, themselves still playing colour game, their palette grain, patina, hewn, rough cut, split slate, dry stone wall. Cobbled route from ill-fit door, sway-set shutters, sloping floor. This the nest where babies born, here the nurture, children grown, set as site when fledge are flown, comfort cell where elders rest.
As we review our spending hours, the costly lessons, learning hard, would we delete them from our past for leisure, rest, the slacking part? If so, then read no further here; my harshest terms served, celebrate, and this I do through craft and heart; if doing, worth, then work it well.
Within Range (with Parkinson’s Disease)
It is in visible, the range, between the infra, ultra waves, though rays beyond the human eye, radio, gamma, micro, X. So what the light that I reflect - what spectrum is it I exude, illumination, candlepower, lighthouse in spin, blink on and off? I cannot cloak my Parkinson’s - invisibility on tap - determined terms that dominate, unless some symptoms medicate - the calmer quiver, further walk, a better sleep, pills and a glass. Few see exhausted energy, insomnia of early hours, the joints I roll - a vape puff helps - slide scapula - sounds mafia - sup tonic, quinine bubbles up. They cheer, drag racing on the track, as I play ball to bridge the gap, both heel and toe, like synchromesh, attempt, engage first gear at least. Some give me stick that carry mine, a tightrope walker balance pole - feel ferule cat stuck up a tree - as concentrate to keep in line, stare pathway, sole on pilgrimage.
I wish deleted, not deferred, night visions, mares, much more than dreams. You build your castles in the air, but I prone on the battlements, repeat descriptions printed there, quite unaware - just one more scare - that I’ve seen episode before. Some fifty after fears were reared, why do they haunt when long past term? Late luggage, lost in airport queue, some foreign clime, none understand; semester end, still unaware, what lectures or exams impend? I’ve teetered on the edge of each, so recognise once latent fears; I’ve told myself no exams left, except the final judgement seat. Is that the queue, with baggage due to cause disruption at the gates? Is that my fear of dream deferred?
Stephen Kingsnorth, retired to Wales, UK, from ministry in the Methodist Church (following the onset of Parkinson’s Disease), has had pieces accepted by various on-line poetry sites, as well as Gold Dust, The Seventh Quarry, Allegro, The Dawntreader, & Foxtrot Uniform Poetry Magazines. https://poetrykingsnorth.wordpress.com/
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