Chapter and Verse – a poem by Stephen Kingsnorth

Chapter and Verse

Chapter and verse gives
anchor chain to mum;
in storm her shipping hold,
unbind him, Lazarus and Gerasene,
forging links, those who care,
the means to reach the chapel first,
cycle, after, pulled to house,
when dad says she’s in prison, bound
(though when and where are in dispute).

She tells me
in prose, but not well,
(the historicity in dispute)
poetry more suited,
to shape her tremors,
giving rhythm, even rhymed,
though read it best between the lines.
As waves from gunwale of the boat,
a parable more suited to her cause,
(then historicity in dispute)
or watching cushion, Gennesaret,
hope mob-rule may be calmed,
she would be sat, in her right mind.

Of cliff-edge swine that took her young,
and since joined herd
(the historicity in dispute),
she felt well-versed to pass it on.

Not best placed to choose the means,
chapter or verse, they both appealed,
but word art now become close friend
(no historicity to defend).


Stephen Kingsnorth (Cambridge M.A., English & Religious Studies), retired to Wales from ministry in the Methodist Church, has had over 150 pieces published by on-line poetry sites, including Amethyst Review, printed journals and anthologies.

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