Social-ism

It’s .. trying to construct
a society around production
for need .. not .. for profit –
.. meeting people’s needs ..
I half-quote Tony Benn

Once I was in his audience
whilst back home
my father rebuffed
Wedgie-bloody-Benn with

his gruff-spoken shun
’bout the Leftie-in-a-suit
Benn spoke without limits
at the Co-operative Hall

way back in the slush-grey
twentieth century
of do-not-touch candles
and knitted gloves

in an endless civil war
of fists and banners
across flattened battlefields
far removed from us

Face-to-face politic
was the free-to-use fuel
against factory shut-downs
and mounting job losses

.. (Thatcher) did make war
on a lot of people in Britain,
and I don’t think it helped
our society ..

Now we trade insults
over sofa-space distances –
a hate we would not dare
to excrete out there in public –

no loud enough complaints
about neighbours’
ached-stomachs
with day-end hunger –

not of zero-hour contracts
worth near to nothing –
or the basic provisions
of dignity and stability

Instead we lament
the kiss of a celebrity –
caught on camera –
going viral like herpes

This land is cut open
under smartphone blades –
those knives blunt voices
which once were our aides

The Street Artist

Across the radiator-hot pavement
is his greatest work – ever
under the gawp of holiday kids
and the blind-sided motorists

They will not know how much
the snapping sticks of chalk
weighed in his eye-in-hand –
even on such days of sunlight

The pain in the painting is his
to hold – briefly – in his quick grip –
to get the artwork down and out
before it is worn away by use

Blunt

These day-in day-out mis-typings
of small tap-tap-tap screen pokes –
which I commit as my bad habit –
weightless stabs in this landscape
to stall that mental keel

warned of by my desk-set consultant –
My thoughts are in a dark waiting room
without a fixed appointment for entry –
sat for a last hurrah
before the freeze

I greeted her breezy – How are you?
with an unfair response –
I use this screen – my handheld shield –
for honest words – about everything –
I’ll always dig for verse
in this spade-blunting field

Seventy-Six Percent

To take this decision –
to take this life –
Off discharged thoughts
but it is my choice

I wake disturbed
by a scratched record –
Will this be the day
when I feed the birds?

We scared males –
curtailed in acuity –
will swing from the beams
far too easily

This tear-stained rope –
now held in my hands —
I am throwing it up
into no man’s land

The Perpetual Curate

Here lies the poor
perpetual curate –
he lived a low life
on the stipend they paid —

The beneficiary of
a lost monastery lease –
he was appointed to
this chapel-of-ease —

He could not marry
on the wages of God –
with such low standing
he chose to shun love —

Queen Anne’s Bounty
was no saving grace —
He died malnourished –
inhumed in this place


www.mikebellpoems.com
@wordsbell

The Remained

Even in the unfair fall
of rain on the night – of
discharged un-loadings –
after the torches lit
the memorial bonfire –
the three wives of war
will be still – to remain
without any complaint
about huge losses to
King or Country –
or other such standings
of the state’s manhood –
that stupidity of men
Keep back from
the lightings and fusings
of the electrical lines –
It is as if God was unable
to save the widow wives

Units of Measure

It is this moment – a problem of
mine – in my stumbled-to-stand –
when I rise to a lowered sobriety –
to another false swing of swagger
into the blind tight turn to corners
of sharp right-rights and then-thens –

I am stuck still – counter-stopped
at the gloss-bald white worktop –
to find-and-twist – to dead-head –
another French label – volute
from contorts in cellars – such snobs –
at eighteen quid-ish of so much –

So very much more – bottled up –
Another grip on her narrow neck –
she opens up to a wine bled red –
a gutting-burn of drunk guilt
as I surrender to my mild hangover
which is my waking anal fist

Kurt

So it goes – from the
slaughterhouse cellar
under Dresden –
At that safe depth –
with Werner Gluck –
his half-relative

An unholy war
as narrative – but
it has no time line –
it makes no sense –
until historians
claim a victory
from those events

Grandpa stood
with the PPU –
he fought in fields –
not foreign felder
he eyed the loam
from his pacifist shelter

On the other side
an enlisted man –
my dead grandfather –
shelled on thin sand