Summit Negotiations

At the cake bazaar,
annual in the village hall –
Mrs Baker’s acid voice –
I stall to scan those sweetmeat plates.

The granulated cog biscuits,
as if surfaced breeze-swept snow,
fawn-mellow, flat,
centre-nippled, cherry-topped;
the scarlet shine thieves the eye,
stirs amylase from frenulum
to a painful point.

Without word, a finger point
tells Busty Baker what I want.
Only one? threat by voice and more,
clear accusatory tone,
insult when a dozen more,
pique, that her mountain not
scaled for more.

But base camp built of my cookie choice –
the tawny tone hints more mature –
Sherpa Baker stares, ice-pick tongs,
a moment carabiner caught,
feathered felt now helmet,
crampons, impasse,
first to withdraw?

Though Baker’s pride, my will-battle wins,
crevasse spanned with frost-bite grace,
wool wrapped cleavage to the fore,
she crevices her finger nails,
palming the peak, protect
from avalanche, and
bitter-sweet presents, almost
on bended knee,
my ruby ring.

Published by Sparks of Calliope, 26th February 2020

Published by Parkinson’s Art, 6th June 2021

Published by The Metaworker, 3rd December 2021

Published by Stephen Kingsnorth

My name is Stephen Kingsnorth. I am 69 and retired from ministry in the Methodist Church, living in north Wales. He is a nominee for the The Pushcart Prize this year. To retain appearance on my blog a piece must be accepted by a publisher and/or ‘liked’ by a reader. I have had some 400 pieces accepted by 60+ publishers, for publication online by Nine Muses Poetry, Voices Poetry, Eunoia Review (Singapore), Runcible Spoon, Ink Sweat and Tears, The Poetry Village, Amethyst Review, Softblow Literary Journal (Singapore), From the Edge, Soul-Lit (USA), Sparks of Calliope (USA), Academy of the Heart and Mind (USA), Allegro, Ekphrastic Review (Canada), The Recusant, Militant Thistles (Scotland), Visual Verse, Another North, Literary Yard (India), Poetry Potion (South Africa), Former People Journal (USA), Poetry Space, Clavmag, Twisted Vine Literary Journal (USA), Indolent Books (USA), The Writers' Café, A New Ulster Literary Journal, Love-Wrexham Magazine, Lighten Up Online, Young Ravens Literary Review (USA), Here Comes Everyone Magazine, Compass Photography, Parkinson's Art, The Parliament Literary Journal (USA), Writing Sparks (Australia), Passager Books (USA), Foxglove Journal, Featured Poets (USA), The Quiver (USA), Unique Poetry (USA), Ariel Chart International Literary Journal (Australia), Grand Little Things (USA), Crȇpe & Penn Quarterly (USA); Spillwords (USA), Poetrywivenhoe, The Poet Magazine, Setu Bilingual Journal (USA & India), Hencroft Hub, Mad Swirl (USA), Medusa's Kitchen (USA), Stone Literary Journal (USA), Zero Readers (USA), Groupie Mag (USA), New Note Poetry Magazine; and print poetry magazines Gold Dust, The Seventh Quarry, The Dawntreader, Foxtrot Uniform, New Contrasts (South Africa), Vita Brevis' Anthology 'Pain and Renewal', Fly on the Wall Press 'Identity', Word Poppy Press, 'Sequoia Speaks' (USA), The Gentian Journal, The Garfield Lake Review, Milk & Cake Press: 'Dead of Winter II', Sweetycat Press, 'Around the World: Landscapes & Cityscapes Anthology', 'Love Anthology', 'Stories & Poem in the Song of Life Anthology' (USA), The Poet Magazine's 'Friends and Friendship', 'Adversity', The Parliament Literary Journal's 'Truth Serum', 'Cravings & Compulsions', 'A Toast for the Scumbags', 'Masks & Manes'.

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