Transparent Words - Poetry


4 Poems by James Bell


An American Soldier Blogs His Opinion

a found poem
Here I sit in the desert,
staring daily at the electric fence,
the deep trenches
and the concertina
wire that separates
the borders of Iraq and Kuwait,
and upload my daily reflections
and opinions of this war.
Should I have such power
to express my opinions?


"One stone is not like another" - Denise Levertov
this stone is not like itself although it is named as quartz
is formed in miniature towers
that have grown over time too long to contemplate
hesitate to grow any further as displayed on a shelf
after being stored in a box
with others for years where each dust particle 
made each stone larger and given time would outgrow the box
diminish that square of
storage plastic - form it into stone too one day, join
the shapes of fossilised fish who still shoal and swim
in imitation of art
for such is the art of stone that each fish is singular
all are caught in a flash of geological time
where their faces seem to smile for the camera



The Parallels Of Reflection

the water is flat and reflective
its shimmer and shimmy has a sensuous appeal
from a distance it looks still    while up close
the view he takes in is different    livelier
the relationship becomes more complex
than a distant ardour or admiration
there are parallels he knows that break
down into atom like sizes more infinite
than the one before    often viewed
though rarely acknowledged    older
akin to love unmet for several years where
it either starts up again or is a quick parting
the water is flat and reflective
he sees more in it than he did yesterday



the hulk is still moored - its anchor chain droops
hooked up to nothing heavier
dangles as a token gesture to stop the river washing it away
the shroud of rust that covers this less than ship
shape is a retired state
a quiet fade from sailing long undertaken
and lack of name on its bows and stern
confirm the scenario
how over time a brown powder was ceremonially scattered
amongst its utilitarian rig
as a costal carrier of whatever cargo
that one day fell into economic decline - discuss -
essay due sometime after the dust fully settles
burns the metal away on days like this
where the glitter of sunlight was expected to reflect
any marine grandeur to which it had aspiration
is now tomblike - contains only a retained past
of excitement and sadness


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