One of John Lennon’s teeth is expected to make £10,000 when it is auctioned next month.
BBC News, 19th October 2011
In the kitchen, bracing
his pain between the table
and the stove, he tore
the tooth from the gum
with a wet crunch, gave it,
bloody, as a souvenir
and walked out beyond
the decay of mortals.
After fifty years it looks
like forgotten popcorn
or a knot of Wrigley’s
chewed past stretch.
Only the root suggests
it was once nerved-in
to a jaw that tenderised
What will you do with it?
Keep it in a matchbox
in a jam jar in a football sock
underneath the bed, warmed
each night knowing it’s there.
Leave it under your pillow
with the affidavit
that confirms the source.
Await morning riches.
Ask your stunned dentist
to replace a molar so you
can share Lennon’s grin
with the bathroom mirror.
Plant it behind the shed
marked by a chipped
teacup and watch for bone
to break the soil.
Build a tiny, glass-fronted
tomb, a la Lenin, and tour
village halls, charging a fiver
to rub it for luck.
Or, on days your own tune
won’t play, put it to your ear,
like a shell, and hear
the long dead croon
Love, love me do.
Cream Teas on Judgement Day
The four o’clock rush stampedes in at three
to besiege us, heathens sweating scones
for Sunday’s sore visitor gods. Raging and raw
we keep out cats, flies, the customers
still crash right through with sugar in their eyes.
Quick – lay your hands on the cream
to banish mould and I’ll speak in tongues
of jam. Hell opens to burn the slovenly
and pour forth fruitcake and smoke.
I weep into my apron. There’s no change
or tips. Tea cosies drown in Lapsang floods,
exhausted pots shatter and teaspoons bolt,
menus make for the door and coffee jars
revolt. You spread the charm like soft butter
on a split and I’ll give sticky grace on not quite
clean plates. Will that appease them?
Our fake accents turn with the milk
come six. Prayers pass in a kettle’s pant,
returning to water and air: tomorrow
please rain, please rain, please rain.
Katherine Stansfield's poems have appeared or are forthcoming in New Welsh Review, Poetry Wales, Poetry Cornwall, James Dickey Review, Cheval, and anthologies from Leaf and Cinnamon. She won the 2011 Leaf Books poetry prize, and her first novel will be published by Parthian next year.