Meet up at the River 


With Chris, by reeds,

before day heat, dawn song

went down to the river.


He, college man,  middle ‘Yonges’,

long gone, soul and body doctor,

journal only google,

atrial fibrillation access,

leaving own sugar needle flask once

on station platform, boarding panic.


Assamese coffee shop, assumed

hippy trailers when

I inject, harpoon dart on thickened flesh

recoil pressure bend on blunted pricker

but he insists while hosts

smile, bemused, knowing but ignorant.


Lungi wrapped, half exposed

in half exposure train balti

lapped sparkling tray,

finger bowls, telegraphed,

he eats, matter-of-factly.


He, ever creaky voice, like one breaking,

my mainstay.




A strange condition for a row

amongst the headstone rows that flank

the hill side cemetery,

that hangs and flows,

marble chips and chips off marble, chip paper,

scree of lager cans and driven flowers;

sunlight bearing on the granite backs

lapidary curlicues of the shade.


Does she entreat or remonstrate

as they pace on and through the slabs,

an avenue of undying love inscribed,

he silent, power-walking ahead against the wind and mood?

She, some pace behind,

outstretched arm and cupping hand towards him,

relaying, I assume,

the beg to hear her, or impress the point, backhanding.

I wonder if, affected by the tight clipped yews

and angel wings and comforts versed,

and likewise outstretched arms,

she solicits advocacy of heaven.


But as I muse on irony,

the hope of ancient dead to hold sway,

to influence for good,

I realise that in her extended hand

is her phone.


First published by Ink Sweat and Tears, 7th September 2019


Stephen Kingsnorth (Cambridge M.A., English & Religious Studies), retired to Wales from ministry in the Methodist Church, has had pieces accepted by over a dozen on-line poetry sites; and Gold Dust, The Seventh Quarry, The Dawntreader & Foxtrot Uniform Poetry Magazines.

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