Friday, August 26, 2016

National Poetry Day: "How Poetry Got Her Hooks In Me" by Andrew M. Bell



It is an ancient Poet
and he stoppeth me.
“Beware of poetry, my son,
She’s a gold digger.
She’ll chew you up and spit you out,
leave you penniless and lying in a gutter,
drunk on absinthe,
while the rich novelists and scriptwriters
step over you, laughing.”

“Hold off! unhand me, greybeard loon!”
Unheeding, I slunk off to my garret
to compose a villanelle,
heavily derivative of Dylan Thomas.

I only wanted to get girls,
but before I knew it
I was roaming with the Romantics,
bopping with the Beats
and cruising with the Classicists.
Popping some Pope, shooting some Stevie Smith
or hitting up Heaney,
I was hopelessly addicted.
And I never did get the girl.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Tuesday Poem: "Agog" by Andrew M. Bell


Mural in New Brighton: Artist Unknown

As I dreamt the voices sang
of war no longer waged.
The pitted scars had disappeared,
the global face had aged.
Poverty expired
in a ghetto in LA.
The morning found no corpses
on the footpaths of Bombay.
The wilderness revived
from the chimney’s stranglehold.
Harpoons sang no funeral songs
for those cetacean souls.
One’s sex no more a prison
and race a burden shed,
a man could not be tortured
for something he had said.
The nuclear threat was history,
our lungs were free of smog.
I woke in trembling disbelief,
speechless and agog.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Tuesday Poem: "Following Your Heart" by Andrew M. Bell


Amazing Mural in New Brighton: Artist Unknown

When the wind changes direction,
do your friends say that she is fickle?

Wheeling and soaring, the hawk searches
the sky's silent patterns for
whirlpools and eddies in the liquid blue,
following only the pulse of knowing that rises
in her breast and eye,
reading the ochre outcrops, the granite crags,
the shale shards and basalt buttresses,
the myriad forms of the thrusting, restless earth
that catch and shape the wind and sun,
melding invisible columns of power for the taking.
Fierce, steady eyes
scrutinise that patchwork of pIay,
tapping its effortless buoyancy
when the powerful sinew tires.
Like the hawk, you follow
the knowing,
wed to heart and bone
by the seamless lineage of trust and instinct.
That is the true voice
you hear
when you glide and ride
the pillar of easeful power:
the true voice

for the voices of your friends
can no longer be heard up here.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Tuesday Poem: "The Gift (for Thomas and Ryan)" by Andrew M. Bell




When we are cosmic dust
blowing through the universe
and memories of us fade
like colours in a Polaroid
you can pick up your guitar and know
your parents gave you a gift
no one could take away

NOTE: The poet would like to acknowledge The Press in whose pages this poem first appeared.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Tuesday Poem: "Ransom Note" by Andrew M. Bell



Leave five billion dollars in
hard-earned taxpayer money
by the ruins of the Cathedral.
Do this or your city dies.
P.S. Don't even think of going
to the authorities.
We are the authorities.

NOTE: The poet wishes to acknowledge the anthology, Leaving the Red Zone: poems from the Canterbury earthquakes, edited by James Norcliffe and Joanna Preston and published by Clerestory Press, February 2016, in which this poem first appeared.