06-06-17 Dangerous Globe – Echo Chambers
30-05-17 Dangerous Globe – Who the F*ck is Nick Timothy?
11-04-17 Parkinsons Life
22-09-16 Uckfield FM
Article here: 2 poems quoted
04-07-16 Uckfield Matters
11-04-16 Parkinson’s Life
We asked Mike Bell, a poet with Parkinson’s, to write a special poem to help raise awareness about the role of carers on World Parkinson’s Day
Mike Bell is the designer-turned-poet who, following his Parkinson’s diagnosis, pledged to write a poem each day for a year. For World Parkinson’s Day, we asked him to write a touching tribute to the – often overlooked – carers of people with the condition.
Close to Parkinson’s: Hurting
Our closest have lives
To live and enjoy,
In our sick bed-employ:
The mumblers, and frozen.
When ill cannot act.
Family, relatives old,
As PD takes hold:
My prop, my chained-helper,
Engaged, far too cheap:
Her offset disbursement,
Too tired to weep.
When care is passed on,
With my atheist-prayer,
I ask her forgiveness,
For our contract, unfair.
Listen to a recording of Mike reading this poem and discover more of his poetry on his website here.
21-03-16 Parkinson’s Life
Parkinson’s Life – 21st March 2016 – article here
On World Poetry Day, we hear from the designer-turned-poet who, after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, pledged to write a poem a day for a whole year
On 5 November 2015 Mike Bell, a designer living with Parkinson’s, embarked on a new mission, and a new hobby – to write a poem a day. The year-long project called ‘The Daily Poem’ soon became at once a creative outlet and a form of therapy. On World Poetry Day he shares some of his favourite poems about love, despair and dealing with Parkinson’s, and tells us about his plans to release the collection of 365 poems in his own personal anthology.
“My daily poem was intended to create a regular mental challenge, as well as absorb some of my creative writing frustrations. I am completing my first Young Adult novel (Stuffed, but needed a ritual to my writing, which the novel does not offer, being a bigger beast to break. The daily poem, published onwww.mikebellpoems.com, was a public commitment to this process. Since 5 November I have written a poem, or sometimes more than one, a day on a variety of subjects.
Most of my inspiration comes from the daily events, small things that seem to demand greater attention. The poems form a narrative to my life, politically and emotionally, which I hope engage other individuals whom are also just trying to get by with, or without, Parkinson’s.
Like the condition itself each poem is unique in formation and development: an incident or story may spark a reaction in me – from love to despair – and so I set a few lines, even notes, or odd words, into an Evernote app on my smartphone (which is sync’d to my PC and tablet), and from that the idea becomes thoughts, and then thought becomes a form of composure.
I wrote the following poem when walking back from the speech therapist:
The return walk, hobbled together,
From the speech therapist’s advice,
Should encourage me to avoid The Alma,
And other throat-burn-delights.
A short climb up Framfield Road,
Past Old Ale’s 4% call;
My dignity would still remain,
If I had just the one pint pulled?
Breathing the roadside fumes,
Will surely do for me before a pint?
Or am I pouring distractions,
from the assure of medical advice ?
I am reduced by Austerity’s ardour,
Having lent a fiver to the wife;
There is no cash-point en-route,
So I will forgo that poisonous pint.
I wrote another when recalling a brief story of youth my wife had told me. I try to record the poems as I go along, although only recent addiction to Soundcloud means I am putting older ones onto audio too. I am performing at my first festival this April and have now been invited to local schools to talk about poetry and Parkinson’s. So maintaining my speech quality, as a Parkinson’s combatant, is critical for my health and my art!
The first 365 poems will be put together in an indexed publication, the working title is Bonfire One, 2015-16, representing my own desire to keep the flames of response high, and to ‘burn, burn, burn’, as demanded by the famous writer Jack Kerouac.”