Mablethorpe – a poem by Stephen Kingsnorth


In village chapels I believed
preachers’ words could prompt the word
for those who chose to enter there;
sometimes silence did the same,
as hosts of messengers beyond.
Trained in craft, I’m taught,
discard unimportant stuff;
uncover sacred, unlade, then end.
One early homily I brought,
minor illustration, east coast,
grabbed from air, passing caught,
now, was it Mablethorpe?

The man, back pew, was stationed there,
(leaving handshake, told me so)
and there he stayed till closing hymn,
not hearing sermon which I preached.
Now did this god speak over me?
The question is (my answer ‘yes’),
can his Mablethorpe be redeemed?

His heavy pack and secret stash,
bewilderment at leaving home,
friendships lasted fifty years,
scared of seen to write to Mum,
first achievements, passed exam,
comrade’s funeral yet again,
rescued him from dire straits,
guilty darkness he alone,
supportive laughs among the din,
wet cold fear on his own,
overcoming toughest tests.
All real, reflecting with his god,
so pack and stash laid down at last.


Stephen Kingsnorth (Cambridge M.A., English & Religious Studies), retired to Wales from Methodist Church ministry, has had pieces accepted by Nine Muses Poetry; Voices Poetry; Eunoia Review; Runcible Spoon; Ink Sweat and Tears; The Poetry Village; From the Edge; Gold Dust, The Seventh Quarry & Allegro Poetry Magazines.


  1. nemoverum says:

    Like this very much.
    It dosent try to hard to be more than it is.
    But what it is, is clear.


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