Literary Yard

Search for meaning

By: Stephen Kingsnorth

From swirling wash to swirling string
on spinning top is this world of spin.
Stick-sprout upturned umbrella ribs,
invert pyramid, caged cup, gust dip,
with no still pocket for retreat, but
updraught airs sight-hidden weave.

The way the breeze is turning, like
Vicar of Bray we bend with flight.
Grey pegs, imaged like a jpeg file,
gipsy wood and plastic spring
hold display for picket fence
glancers, peepers, Tom mind your own.

Hung samples slim, though mostly not,
thin with flailing windmill sleeves,
spread half garments, inside out,
some by neck and some by hem,
right way up and upside down
as those who daily wear them out.

Here is palette rainbow strip,
flamboyant cravats, distanced from
the fewer buttoned-up stuffed-shirts.
Turn-ups, dust clearance lives ago,
corduroy ridges on horizon, far,
shoulder-pads have had their say.

Household secrets spotlight now,
unintended consequences,
gene-stained jeans, still spotted chieves,
sheets and cases, pillow talk,
cleaned dirty wash on public stage,
suds, gossip-froth for all to know.

Red skirts waving warning flags,
medical records, all to view,
prosthesis to fill brassiere;
pants with snake in apple tree,
remaining strain, as Eden’s tale,
fig coverings for thighs with sighs.

Knickers, water-dripping pantyhose,
hip-slips, polka dot bikini strings,
y-fronts, long johns, brief past by,
halters slowing down the turn,
pantaloons with flouncy trims,
pink-frill thrills, shady underworld.

Soccer shorts, grazed cricket greys,
tennis dress, ball pocket pant,
fluster duster-clusters flap;
rugby, luminous – not wind
socks, singles, seek courting pair,
should sign up on a dating site.

Emblazoned tee shirts, family
crests wave, white horses, dray, fray,
memberships and logos proud,
standing raised, a shopfront badge,
others sport purported claims,
though unicorns, as most can see.

Treasure-breasts of weight-lifters,
duo deep-breath pearl fishers,
chests of drawers, easels lined,
who, after working craft for tall boys,
bust shorter girls, beer-gutted all,
touting wares, bottled beers, philosophies.

Sketch pads laying open house,
fests with zest and orange peel,
famous artworks forged silk print;
red-top banners spread their word,
headlines shout, from sternums burst,
underlining overflow, middle spreads.

Tattoos from Reekie, soldier bands,
some inked, strapping jocks flop by,
thistles, dragons, and St George,
fewer chuffs, fewest Manx arms with
bent windfarm elbows, no power
generation across all age.

Herbaceous borders, batiks bruised
with bleeding blooms blot mucor spread.
Telstar, feldspar, blue john mined,
marked Sark, lark, stark parking slots.
Labelled-brands too small to see,
wasted effort, neighbour reviews.

Cushion covers hide their stuff
where cheeky linguists talk kapok.
Napkins dribble, table cloths,
gaudy neckties, speaking tails,
flannel, as politicians use,
pontificating policies.

Hoody far from riding hood,
green shirts, designer, looking good,
chav-wear too with moody blows.
Bibs for ancients, babies, blue,
clues recalling wearers’ size or tag,
ready age, name, for dementia home.

Far courtyards stretched, hanging damp,
reach over street in tightrope ranks,
cleated between distempered walls,
white party lines, telephones wires.
Further laid blades, dew on grass,
dhobi work for ten rupees.

Wide ranged parade, reality show,
slack braces joining lax cloth belts,
hoped barrier to belly flops.
Mix jumble lot, not-Linaeus-classed,
this garden swing relates most tales,
the too revealing whirligig.


Stephen Kingsnorth (Cambridge M.A., English & Religious Studies), retired to Wales from ministry in the Methodist Church, has had over 140 pieces published by on-line poetry sites, including Literary Yard, printed journals and anthologies.

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