2022
Pushcart Prize Nominee

Stephen Kingsnorth

My Scattered Place

She wants to leave, too far the home,

while health permits the timely move,

beside our daughter, nurtured boys -

twice monthly visits, not suffice.

She younger, caring has a price,

and as my wife I promised her.

 

Our cottage dream -

for ease I put it in her name -

with ceiling wood and open fire,

the quarried stone and furnishing,

tattered, old, patina time

of memories, most good, some pain.

Compact, but yet three double rooms,

grandchildren gathered in their prime.

 

The garden, triangle of green,

dug compost to compose the soil,

wisteria, clematis climb,

over fawn stone, half-timbered front,

and shrubs with berry overload,

red wax and shine, some purple pearls,

live tadpole pond with kingcup whorls,

like Devon lanes, my naïve youth,

plucked primroses of teenage days.

 

My view of dreams,

dun bracken, heather on the hill,

the hamlet hanging from its side,

red brick where workmen mined the lead,

and buzzards wheeling out their turf,

no lens, zoom ten, such common treat.

And in the village, end of road,

first doctor I could trust and talk.

 

A near community of faith,

an open table of diverse,

where strangers welcomed in as friends,

the place to be, belong, believe,

where this old pilgrim thought to rest.

 

She wants to leave, downsize my term,

and as my wife I promised her.

Maybe while still my mind remains,

this earth yet be my scattered place.

SK Scattered.jpg

Stephen Kingsnorth (Cambridge M.A., English & Religious Studies), retired to Wales, UK, from ministry in the Methodist Church, has had pieces published by on-line poetry sites, printed journals and anthologies, most recently Academy of the Heart and Mind, The Parliament Literary Magazine, Poetry Potion, Grand Little Things, The Poet Magazine.

His blog is at https://poetrykingsnorth.wordpress.com