I put the kettle on. (Forever since you loved me) Set the cup and laid the linen. (Forever since you held me) Steeped the leaves and measured honey. (Forever since you kissed me) Sipped my tea and wrote my thoughts. (Since forever, Love, forever)
Within a week dust fell Upon the shoulders of A timepiece. An enormous shell. An empty show box. My well-worn rag is green And pushed against fine things – And table legs. Hallway rails. Vacant chair arms. In the hallway -step-step Then skip my hearts beat. Ragged door. Behind its wall No voice of reason. Within these weeks dust fell Upon each mountain object. Wipe the clock. Turn and place My fingers round the doorknob. The old rag fallen carelessly, sleeps. Beat Beat -this life pumps – The door cracked – My life’s unreason Stands waiting.
I speak it to the sky (face up, eyes blinded) Water swallows my hearing. I rest, unborn. Say, say, worn blue heaven, Born this morning, Lend me your mercy And your days company. Love has come. And flown. Chased stars and closed my eyes. (now this water casket) On waves of refuge. I say it to the winds! My breath carries onward. Lend me Your secrets… then Release this heavy skin weight.
Here is October. Are you glad to see me? Have you waited In hope I’d be alive again? But I have diminished. Did you wait long For me to come around For dim evenings And ricocheted sound bites? But I have changed. Here is my head White faced And calloused shut. As if the world could do damage To the wind. It is not I – But a one trick pony That lays its eyes on the population. Necessary – maybe – To survive these seasons. October… then. Then, here is my voice A meek offering As if one could change the decision Of God.
Today I ache for you. Why shouldn’t it be so? When all those hours were days I counted comfort in your arms.
It is clearer. A pair of cruddy working shoes By a metal door- I am heavy - Off comes the day! Costume. Name plate. Used up words and unused love. This old basket holds it well. See my dear friends! Pages bonded and lined up in rows. But some escape And find themselves lying quietly in unexpected places. My heart longs to stack them. Up against the door. For this: A final barricade. A pen. A sharp pencil. Loose inked Paper. I muse, I write, I bleed. Music plays a serenade – An ode to pages gone missing. Mortar, life’s blood, tears Hold paper bindings against the door – Lay down my trowel. Sleep. Shelley Rae Bell
Always, some thing gazed upon me Like a throne room king doling out corrective measures with no graceful reserve. Now. In Solitude. A measured peace. Footsteps echo in recesses. Soft, billowy figures. Promises. Leave. Leaving. Left. Imminent. Love sits with me. (You Thorn) And mocks my moves. Carrying on with stones. Ghosts of Souls. Footfalls that rattle away into the distance. Spectors! Take with you, Hope. Let Love be bound to you - and go! And finally, unattended, lay desire down. I'll wait for leaded lid to close my days. Shelley Rae Bell
I do overflow (being too much to contain) in too small a vessel. A man who restrains (creates a border wall) becomes cracked with vanity. Match. and Checkmate (why should I flounder?) so I am diminished? I would drown (in the undertow) of obstructed waters. Shelley Rae Bell
Suddenly there was All darkness and shade Where you stood. Returning you brought twilight And reminders of solitude. What is the question? Light through a keyhole? And I without a key or chain? Suddenly there is light and shadow. Enough for magic tricks. And your pining eye through the pinhole, slay. Slayed. Oh soul! Remember sorrow! Shelley Rae Bell
He is coming. Haunting. And the earth dwells with it knowing. The pencil stilled. And my mind lays silent, Hushed in tones of greys and beige. Decomposing thoughts in the undergrowth. I do not know - I know. Then I lay out words upon a wood table in greenery. Files and tabs- to choose what golden verb will arise to melt the hour the minute the apparition appears. Shelley Rae Bell