By: Stephen Kingsnorth
With Pops, my grandmother made this,
a pattern, poppies, spreading wild,
our family, a tribe of aunts,
count cousins, crawling, climbing trees,
and siblings, toddlers up to teens
a tapestry of what could be
with grief and loss or potency.
Needle points of youthful angst,
stitches mending fabric strain,
tears where worn, from welling eyes;
some skeins stretched close to no return –
denim, dungarees to dates –
is hole, patella, wear, design,
need patch for knee or nicotine?
In multitask before the phrase,
the phases turn of growing up,
through moonshine nights and blazing days,
dawn lunar months and hormone drive,
the pheromones of changing years,
weaving weft and warp of hope.
Wizened, wise, now wearing thin,
where creases, crows are closing eyes,
the artisan’s glory what she spins.
but art of nurture, sans despair,
embroidery of the soul, sewn,
seeds of future, sprouting ground.
Slings and arrows, prickles, thorns,
what guards us, flesh and soul as whole?
But can we insulate our loved
less first we shield, take care of I,
guardian, protecting myself?
Does leather hide us, second skin,
another dress to face the spears,
as ancestors, on veldt, in cave
saw luscious fruit, but porcupined,
the succulents beyond their reach
in clime where foolish overreach?
The sentry troops, pinned stars in row
to pierce or snag, barbed ridge and fold,
at pinnacle, its bloom in shrill,
a breakout screaming, I’m still here,
and your assaults of poor regard.
But if we seek to tame the beasts,
enclose their beauty, taste the treat,
beyond the pale within our reach,
we learn, ignore, let the thriving
neglected take its power stance.
Our dwelling space, in time and place,
confined, community, to span,
suggests that we should concentrate
on building hives where lives expand,
fulfil the best that they can be.
As green, the shade to calm our stress,
the grass home sets the colour test,
like worker bees on clover lawn
which hover where the nectar’s sweet,
supplies to feed where future lies.
Despite, because, high density
living where their queen decrees,
their model serves to guide design
quality for humanity.
Bees do not sting companions.
Just as the poet, lines for life,
the table glass for diner guest
hints swirl mist, stir limes for life.
Await the plate, with dahi pot,
a plot with dahl, dull neutralise,
ghee dripped over, seep through rice,
taste with eyes, buds stimulate.
It makes such sense that all engaged,
waft through nostril, tip of tongue,
as if a viper tempts again,
with touch of trencher, banana leaf
and ear, rings catching, sound of sighs,
the citrus circus, pheromones,
repast laid out before begin.