Literary Yard

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‘Trudge or Fly?’ and other poems

By: Stephen Kingsnorth

Trudge or Fly?
As soles pace paving, up aloft
the pupils pointing brick above,
learn walls a street scene gallery,
frames overlook, day’s oeuvre show,
evolving exhibitions, years.
Who owns the wall, the sweeps supplied –
a brush with property and law –
but bills no longer posted there,
so is there charge and what the cost –
for who’s the patron of the lost
if clean-up, bleach and scrub applied?

Is there concern, that spelling write,
at wizardry of fly-by-night,
roof space atelier descent,
road markings not to yield, give way?
However briefly stop and stare –
the value of art, spray applied –
because the words from fellow minds,
and they see writing on the wall?
But can we bear the outlet here,
some underclass in patent fear,
the drab backstreet, a vanished point,
yet shaken, stirred by tag outlined,
and trudging soles find soul release?


Writing on the Wall

But does your window broaden site,
a wider framework, seeing world,
or is it taxing, revenue,
escape to landscape we eschew?

Does it complement our view,
pretend alternate, mindset new,
escape graffiti, street scene cue,
frustration for the urban voice?

Like playing tag, aim, get-away –
who says authentic voice portrayed,
the pane of nature, get out clause,
when we should read the painted wall?

This medium of statement art,
surpasses claim of average,
median, mean humanity,
spray-can words too long ignored.

The beauty of the natural,
the lore of earth, red tooth and claw;
weeping, is the race similar,
a diverse commonwealth of wheal.

So two worlds share this common ground,
nature vs humans, we’re told it’s at.
But keep globe spinning, hear the spheres,
planet embraced for future years.

Dust, a window to everywhere,
as bricks and blocks are overcome
by turning wall to board for script,
a travel guidebook for shared life.


Brief Span

What all-seeing eyes were they
that set evolving species’ way,
released that magic, DNA,
source for adapting, being, change,
a complement in nature’s growth.

Through spirit’s breath and solar winds
fleeting lifecycles spin through time,
unleashed from cells as burst from bars,
metamorphosis through the globe,
in balanced spin of mutual stealth.

The babe, mosquito, viper, lamb,
however brief their worldly span
contribute to the chosen plan
of freedom to abuse or care,
creation orbits – round the son?

For all has beauty, all brings grief,
fulfils vocation of its birth.
We glory, the red dragonfly,
though tremble as the nymphs display
their larvae terror in the pond.

We stand in awe of tooth and claw
as set beside mane pride on veldt;
but then we look at human race,
the battle lines, first cross the tape,
and we no better than the rest.


Dead Reckoning

Who ever dreamt of iron ships,
that tons could glide, unsink in brine?
Yet gigantic in design,
a cursed voyage, slice cut ice,
flash floating nowhere, bulkhead clash,
save sea bed, wake for the dead,
bow break, stern, for steerage class,
lifeboat seats for rich, cleat cheats.

Escape from squalor, best hope west,
as they wait, for doom on brink,
folded money, paper crease,
wood that rescue, clipper crew,
were shaped wing rescue, angel airs,
in origami of the soul.
Bubbles, oil, lace collars, furs,
floes, fog sop belts, detritus mark
tipping point for human gems.


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

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