Teeth and claws, instinct abroad,
though human heart, created love,
while restless crust, airspace above
groans, creation’s growth evolves.
Some turn to prayer, some lift the gun,
or hang a crystal in the sun,
sigh deep, inspired, glories displayed,
or spellbound hope for magic turn.
What rocks provide such palette range,
of every shade undreamed by us –
Blue John fluorite, mined in one dale,
to alabaster, calcite carved?
The stone collection you admire,
those pastel shades of purple, reds
are not for ornament to me,
but signs for them, who would be free.
Skin bruises, haematoma named,
green from yellow, blooming mauve,
dried blood clots where the warders stamped;
what is the price of gemstones worth?
I wear a pebble in my shoe,
hid from the widened eyes of folks,
reminder that my sisters’ view
is through a cell square, lined with bars.
Stephen Kingsnorth (Cambridge M.A., English & Religious Studies), retired to Wales from ministry in the Methodist Church, has had over 200 pieces published by on-line poetry sites, including Poetry Potion, printed journals and anthologies. https://poetrykingsnorth.wordpress.com/