Literary Yard

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Poems: ‘Liminal’ and ‘Box Camera’

By: Stephen Kingsnorth


What was the moment you arrived,
when you, the child, could be shown off,
and they seemed proud to name you theirs?
That liminal, transition point,
when you know more than they, for sure,
and they know that, with awe, inside,
not adolescent in pretence;
for it’s your ground, they visitors,
not entertainers, entertained.

It took no craft, but punt and pole,
a bridge of sighs to navigate,
a competence few strangers find,
and shirt, bought Delhi, on my back.


Box Camera

You see the black and white, though grey,
these clothes that give the date away,
the leisure space, despite bow tie,
a family on holiday?
The Kodak box of sibling snap
above a clifftop overlook –
it’s inside knowledge knows I’m right,
my focus others’ oversight.
This open space a closed down place,
as I, at end, grasp plastic bag,
the day that hobby gripped the boy,
collecting my phillumeny.
A proper noun for matchboxes,
the first from Kentish brewery,
which prompted guests of B&B
to search their pockets and their rooms.
Within few hours, expanded bag,
my treasure held close in lap;
that’s why your grey is not my sight,
excited boy set on a quest.
It’s not of swallows, amazons –
yet lucifers brightened my life,
and fifty on still feel the thrill,
that child’s delight in seeing things.

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