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The Memory of Bone by Stephen Kingsnorth

Stephen Kingsnorth | May 16th, 2021 | poetry | No Comments

Poem

What zeitgeist carbon dating stirs,
patella groove, arch zygomat,
the girdle of the pelvic swerve?
A puncture wound, blunt instrument,
unlike the sable, dusty sweep
to clear the grain, allow the air.
Beyond a match of DNA,
unless the teeth gum up the works
they learn more of forensic clues,
incisors, molars, wisdom drawn,
incisive dental records show
who is our recent victim, laid.

The cage remains on sternum blade,
protected core, long faded pump,
less ass’s jaw, wile skull of fox,
fall sediments around the frame,
this groundwork stores long after game
has paced the veldt, raced for its prey.
This marrow, far from veggie patch,
all process, joint and scapulae,
sounds mobster or Bond’s enemy,
connections in the underworld –
that’s where they lie, those ligaments,
took orders from the brain HQ.

Grain turf is dug, heat peat removed,
cold shoulder laid, like Monday lunch,
for Sunday lamb is all eat up.
Stag party brought tree antlers back
and knife was raised for blood dispatch,
left here, skeletal gristle patch.
Out on a limb, the funny bone –
now what a nerve to pretend joke –
far humerus, no laughter – pain,
as if the cut from blade run through,
which leaves me singing Boney M,
from Babylon to Mary’s child.

Poet Bio

Stephen Kingsnorth (Cambridge M.A., English & Religious Studies), retired to Wales from ministry in the Methodist Church with Parkinson’s Disease, has had pieces published by on-line poetry sites, printed journals and anthologies. https://poetrykingsnorth.wordpress.com/

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