Wrap, face, skin reflecting pile pineapples,

toothy sarong fruit vendors

sentry corners, slow spiral screw

to mountains drag-drawn from flatland haze.

Lushed tier paddies, suspended tanks,

glitter dun-lime battle grounds, 

side-step from trunked trunk haulers,

gross chink-link necklaces,

chained to logs and bored mahouts;

noising in the jungle edge,

pale emerging stolid heads,

as if shades of surreptitious undergrowth.


The drunken road repeated, and again,

offers perfect picture scene, 

as alien as Gangetic plain to home;

but I, poised, sigh-miss most –

by eight and luggage, style is cramped,

elbows, sweat and wonderment.

At one curve stall, 

after we tumble-crawl evacuate,

the cab bump-starts reverse

down-hill, meets two climbing:

taxi skill and rupee call.  


Tribal hostel is our summit goal 

where Sanga, student of the Naga race

offers bed – raised grain board

and thinner air.  

Sanga’s past, mere dozen years, hunt heads.

Bent over to-be-shared hard-wood base 

he kneels in prayer;

are his gracious thanks, the whimsy pass,

words for the Galilean or a pre-meal grace?


First published by Literary Yard, March 2020




We dream our dreams, as prophet spoke,

revisit hopes, long unfulfilled,

perhaps poor substitute pretend

was goal, worn soles, sore feet from road.

As volume fades, our numbers grow,

so combined voice is larger now,

except the message more confused –

smiles come with lips from screens with clicks. 


Photo album, face book to me, 

twitter my singing garden birds, 

snap chat is talking, playing cards, 

Greek drama social, Medea.

Dementia’s rise, uncertain who,

inhibitors depart their post –

while sunbathing it snows again –

frustration fumes, both ends of scale.


The jail, lock-up with coin box,

as crazy as cell-phone could be;

Google could just be coo-chi-coo – 

in baby-talk, little to choose.

Old order changeth, yielding new,

yet my site back in Sunday School;

as now they try to bring me here,

I question, whose unsettled fear?




The world is shaken at our hands,

while my hand shake by Parkinson’s,

both tremors, mine and earthly known –

one without, next within control.

Now that at table, peace declined

for greeting, as eat daily bread

my dining is as blessed instead.

Remember those caused little thanks,

whose bowl is empty, shaken fist

in anger at their poverty,

or weakened by their enforced fast.

I used to watch the spit and palm,

the cynic grin as deal was done,

at cattle market, board game, bourse,

the course to chance or alter world;

my disease changes, never ends,

but how spin globe, shaken and stirred?




First published by Poetry Potion, March 2019



Stephen Kingsnorth (Cambridge M.A., English & Religious Studies), retired to Wales from ministry in the Methodist Church, has had pieces accepted by over twenty 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 ‘Pain & Renewal’ & Fly on the Wall Press ‘Identity’.


3 thoughts on “Three Poems by Stephen Kingsnorth

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