Of childhood, rapeseed, paler shade,
with richer stalks in sunflower rows,
both cloth of gold and mellow field,
amber flags in boggy moss where
starred before marsh marigolds.
We read the heavens on our backs -
traced cotton wool fluff float above,
then rambled, soft clouds underfoot,
shared memories of yellow, blue -
though wore the ghosts of borrowed shoes.

And then we learnt the County Code,
still shut the five bars as before,
closed, tossing stones at old tin cans;
caught smoky buses, rural roads,
deposited near railway halt.
And soon the city, crowds, exhaust -
all that for year in fortnight packed,
the trunk to loft where it got stuck
forever, as the world had changed -
no more swallows or amazons.

Stephen Kingsnorth



Stephen Kingsnorth, retired to Wales from ministry in the Methodist Church with Parkinson’s Disease, has had pieces published by on-line poetry sites, printed journals and anthologies, most recently Poetry Potion, Ariel Chart, The Parliament Literary Journal, Ink Sweat and Tears, Visual Verse.

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