War Poets

Paul Verlaine’s Chanson d’automne
was coded – still popular poetry –
to give notice –

his long sobs of French-sung violins
declared an Allied invasion
to those listening

Whilst she never understood speeches
of love – and our common
mistakes –

I would rarely read to her – she rarely read
my mutterings – my weight-pared
compositions

She never understood what was being said
She found poetry too difficult
her own résistance


Smoke Over Paris

Their Lady of Paris burnt
in one online afternoon
Her re-imagined spire
tipped to robes of smoke

like a bloodied lance
in surrender – once more –
to politics and holy battles
in a kindless fog of war

Her heated metals ran
as dark beaded sweats
from her swealing heights
to leave cooled scabs

of Saint Thomas – and others –
spattered across worn stones
under her collapsed transept
Those slabs will be saved

with high relics – rescued
from clouds above la quatrième
No puzzle of scattered ashes –
France has her couronne d’épines

#CartepostaleàBannon

Cher Steve Bannon,

Comment redémarrer le mal?
Vous l’avez trop facile
mon altesse-droite,

vous avez votre chemin,
avec la haine, votre haine,
votre politique de quatre lettres:

Tenez leurs têtes courbées,
prendre leurs cœurs sombres,
et ensuite nourrir, si longtemps,

sur leurs intestins bouillonnés,
assaisonné de toss-politique,
raisonnement c’est tout pour eux.

Là, mon cruel ami,
est votre projet déplié
à construire avec l’iniquité.

Cordialement,

Mike Bell.