The Tone – a poem by Stephen Kingsnorth

The Tone

Why claim the name of poetry?
These codes, sounds, sights to be received -
unless my self-indulgent phase
is barren laid, no progeny?
By printer’s ink I want eroteme,
not to end line myself alone -
or I would speak from mindful couch.
If all else fail to find such task,
then how will they, I, benefit -
for why community of souls,
wisdom I sole recipient?
So face the stave, some audience,
remove the megalomania,
the monologue with self alone -
allow reaction set the tone;
it’s said that twelve can change the world -
eleven if the silver paid.

Penny dreadful, classic tome,
nouveau cuisine or greasy spoon,
the lingue franca, koine Greek,
I pose a drip-fed, question marks,
like parables that rubbed wrong way,
insulted those, established ways,
who knew which side their Lord was on,
happy to confirm that God their own,
that they affirmed what He had done -
until the upstart seeded doubt
for those not wearing Sabbath best,
for wrestlers, could not let it rest.
Treatise prose persuades so few;
it is the story, changed world-view
that knocks perspective, paradigm
and dares the daring to review.

Stephen Kingsnorth (Cambridge M.A., English & Religious Studies), retired to Wales from ministry in the Methodist Church, has had over 250 pieces published by online poetry sites, including Amethyst Review, printed journals and anthologies.          

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