What You See  /  Perdita

Stephen Kingsnorth

What You See


Is this revealing truth displayed,

unhealthy busy-body trade,

excuse to revel, innocence,

or proof my evil not alone?

The character learned of myself,

dismay of haughty moral code,

self-justified, ordinary,

or everyone with common traits?

How would I know unless laid bare,

but too late then, my guilt withdraw,

manipulated into scare,

the boredom of confessional.

So what you see is what you get,

the writing on the wall or tin -

if that offends or less attracts,

I’m happy with accepting friends.

The questions posed tell what you hear,

your motivation, clear exposed,

investigative journalist -

is that for fee or public good?

A politician on the make,

the secret service, classified,

control of state, behind the scene?

The space too crowded for my thoughts.

If you don’t like the hat I wear,

but choose to lie, the white in wait,

I like gentle humility,

scaled honesty for friendship paced.

So lay the needle, kidney bowl,

if deed abandoned or complete;

we dance along, masqued ball in play,

my frame in step as swing away.


What sprite from bloody vessels streaks

when vaccines are brought to the vein

of flesh beneath the dermis skein?

Which fanlights break within the brain,

far from the zygomatic arch,

so synapse finds another course?

How can I tell what I don’t know,

some legend wrapped around my core, 

imbibed from youth, spymaster’s child?

The training not to bury truth,

but to deny my commonwealth, 

incorporation of that stealth.

That’s why the couch is used to tap

unanswered questions, laid out pose,

the frontal lobe now centrespread.

Beyond the veil, cortex arraigned,

my stories ranged, sac fluid womb,

to now, feared episodes ahead,

in unadulterated form.

If only I could break within,

find art and poetry on whim,

might I disrobe my Perdita?

Stephen Kingsnorth (Cambridge M.A., English & Religious Studies), retired to Wales from ministry in the Methodist Church, has had over 200 pieces published by on-line poetry sites, including The Parliament Literary Journal, printed journals and anthologies. 



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