Nesting Colly

 

I have only one basket, 

moss sheets in designer bowl. 

I set it near my pantry – 

hedging best for greater storms.

 

Its lining prevents cracking 

so eggs nestle undisturbed –  

about, distracting clutter – 

jealous it be left alone. 

 

It looks like last year’s cradle – 

that sets me more broody yet;

committing all to one crib – 

I’ll not copy that again. 

 

Hatched plan is for re-nesting, 

they say season not at end, 

but it was so for Colly, 

then, as mother, lost control. 

 

The cot-death term sounds gentle,

for resting, once prepared, but

its bars became my prison,

its rods for my own back.

 

I use the woven basket 

to safe-store my free-range eggs, 

and hope that next year, some day, 

can my nesting be refreshed? 

 

Delivered from my waters, 

Moses or, if favoured here,

I might rename her Hannah,

though still Colly lying there.

 

Fast Track

 

Like fast track post I started school,

my first class stamped, leap year, one day,

the prime remove from norms of life – 

now stubborn age confirms that rite.

 

Eleven when they emptied box, 

all then been franked, indelible;

the sorting office pigeon-holed,

a destination clarified.

 

I enjoyed words, the sound, the shape,

so told that I was grammar-good;

my estate mates ate bloater paste,

while I forced boater, crown of head.

 

Steered by string, pram wheels, orange box, 

the stock car racing, pavement swerves – 

lost to buttoned brass, leather brief –

told more sedate for station walk.

 

The track took me around the globe,

express train network privilege;

far friends remained in shunting yards,

few points to change direction, line.

 

The journeys of those loco’s, fast,

no better than they ought to be,

all rest on work in engine sheds,

those mates with spanners, oil and rags.

 

First published by The Recusant, December 2019

 

Facelift

 

The dirt track is now a jacaranda tree

the neighbours shoes, papaya;

the littered muck is citrus scent,

the drain become a rock-drop shute,

and varicose, a smile.

 

I see kingfishers where rough seas before,

a raven for past poor consciousness,

the bear, the buffalo and deer,

a new menagerie in me.

 

I lift my eyes up to the hills,

before I saw the ditch;

I have new sight, surgery,

colour-blindness removed,

the palette scattered now

through leaves and changing sky.

 

My cleft removed,

the daily shame replaced,

my angled poise now stretched above

and fixed my brave new world.

 

This face lift costs far more elsewhere,

thin line lips become bolder,

ripe fruits grudgingly a grin,

banana splits with strawberry juis

rejected pantry shelf.

 

First published by The Recusant, December 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 including Academy of the Heart and Mind; and Gold Dust, The Seventh Quarry, The Dawntreader, Foxtrot Uniform Poetry Magazines & Vita Brevis Anthology. https://poetrykingsnorth.wordpress.com/

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