Released by Andrew Bell

Released

Sitting in the study, I'm watching 
the early morning mist give way 
to the rising sun, 
waiting for your call, 
waiting for the clock 
to announce another day 
captured by the call to work;

when I noticed a single stem of freesia 
in a display you'd carefully arranged, 
had split.

As I reached for the stem, 
the delicate blend of purple and white 
and the subtle fruity sweetness 
took hold.

Time passed away, as the day ahead 
took flight,
unlocking a few precious moments, 
here now ablaze in my hand,

opening up an inner landscape 
where nothing is hidden 
or set by the clock, where everything is given…

Was this your call from beyond?

where the love you have shown me, 
has shown me how to love,

how that love may forever flow,
how it all made me think and take stock.

Mr Verity by Andrew Bell

Mr Verity

A friendly stranger has taken over
the top floor in my head.

A man of culture and refinement,
he wears smart shoes,
with polish well rubbed in;
keeps his best thoughts
in his wardrobe on the shelf
above his suits and ties
and his aspirations,
in other fine pieces,
some suitably distressed.

You will never hear him grumble
about errant thoughts leaking
through distressed tap washers,
embarrassing moments, or missed opportunities.
But, I suspect he has come to teach me,
hold a mirror to my foibles
or, because he never seems to rest,
reset my synapses as I sleep.

More often though, I will find him
playfully disrupting my self-absorption,
like when he sings melodious refrains
through the floorboards above my bed.

At weekends, I may accompany him
in duets,
and sometimes, when I miss a beat,
I can see by his look,
that I’m somewhere else,
reliving those Sunday afternoons,
with the lady I met in the flat below,
the one who keeps my dreams
with her rings in a box.

And when the world is having fits
about this or that,
or when I get caught up
with the problems of mortality
or the properties of dark matter, or eternity,
or I’m wondering whether writing a poem
is a symptom of insecurity,
he answers my questions
with thoughtfulness and grace.

Then my attic voice
begins to change its tone.
I’ll feed on benign spaces
between the words,
put the issues back in their chest,
slip quietly into those silent attic spaces,
and make a cup of tea.

 

Snapshots of Summer by Andrew Bell

Snapshots of Summer

The May blossom, once laden
with exquisite snow-white sleeves, is now long gone,
but remains poised in another world
to be reborn in late summer,
dressed as the hawthorn’s haws, ripening.
And, as the summer evenings wane, and the morning light
slips, the peonies, once proud and brashly red,
are now collapsed, with petals scattered.
The delicate roses, once feisty, are now drab
and self-effacing.
The tired leaves of the birch and aspen, appear patchy
and disfigured,
all slowly sickening, forever patient in their readiness
for the fall to come.

But always, there remain the pleasing summer sights
and sounds of childhood:
the insistent droning of a distant plane,
breaking the silence of sultry sunny afternoons,
the stifling heat invading my upstairs room, mitigated
by a whining fan my mother brought,
bringing some relief, but interrupting sleep..
the persistent clicking and chirping of the grasshoppers
emerging from the long grass behind the shed
and those long summer evenings, when the day
suddenly quietens, and there is a hush in the trees,
as the sun vanishes below the horizon, gilding
the distant hills with an incandescent glow of ochre and red,
quickening the cloudless sky to a delicious blue
heralding a stunning starlit display,
as dusk gives way to night.

Rapping Home by Andrew Bell

after Kate Tempest

I’ve been looking at humanity
drowning in its vanity
trying to make a future
from diminishing capacity
sapping its vitality.

See it, take it, then come back
for more
give it to the rich, leaving nothing
for the poor.
Yes, we’ve heard it all before.

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