I dusted coal soot from the sill
and came across the brittle bee,
stuck, desiccated, frosted pane.
And yet, with yoghurt, muesli dish, –
a bowl of porridge not amiss –
I plunged my fork deep in the pot
and spooned gold honey onto mix.
The jams and pickles, sloe gin jars –
ghoul specimens of organs, blood –
thank God for vinegar preserve,
a promise realised before.
Those languorous, drawn heady days
of elderflower, drone buzzy gnats,
will come gain, blaze summer tastes.
For now, past future on the shelves,
swelt sweating stove for spreading loaf,
float gherkins, onions, sweet with cheese,
a ploughman’s grubby hand from sheaves,
slow thaw, then other layered snow
cannot remove year’s heavy brew,
sure harvest cycle, budding soon.
Stephen Kingsnorth (Cambridge M.A., English & Religious Studies), retired to Wales from ministry in the Methodist Church, has had over 250 pieces published by on-line poetry sites, printed journals and anthologies. Find more at https://poetrykingsnorth.wordpress.com.