To Be Frank, Private  /  Liminal

Stephen Kingsnorth

To Be Frank, Private

Here’s canvas stretcher; type for art

if studio - or battle field,

where medic’s bear as their first aid.


A hoop spread cross, rough risen ground -

dust, where buried life, to dust,

not engraved pristine bleached stone mark,

serried parade of gravestone ranks

laid Commonwealth Commission grass.


The irony, this private site

misspells surname of the deceased,

whilst names as worth his sacrifice,

Frank, soldier Kingsnorth, far off land.

SK Frank.jpg


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.

SK liminal.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

J.P. Sexton
Scent of You

Stephen Kingsnorth
My Scattered Place