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 Corpse Gate

I called it a tithe gate
but it is a lychgate
I confused it with barns –
my first mistake –

Here are the lost bones
of dead English words –
and here a brutal joinery
hewn by blunt saws –

Here the just-deceased
were propped overnight –
Here guarded ‘gainst theft
by snatchers on the sly –

Laid still – after carriage
on the rough corpse road –
under this shelter
for one night’s repose –

Wood knots – whales watching –
here the whorled grain –
This was not God’s work –
but of man’s own domain

יין אדום

I don’t believe in God
but I think she hears my prayers

I can only hope to touch her face
if she deigns to ever care

We don’t talk much about politics
it bores her more than sex

We drink red wine and compromise
on what is truly meant

I woke to judgement nightmares
and a terror in my heart –

with an empty wine glass by my bed –
that brittle bodyguard

The Flood

There’s a shifted density in the landscape
following your biblical month of rain –
It has been days and disturbed nights –
a battening of doors and shutting-ins

My chosen path is tread-thickened soup –
the mossy velour on my usual pew
is now an orbicular stump-top sponge –
my meditative place is soaked right through

The dripping leaves of the common hawthorn
are plated to silver and bent in prayer
by the salty weight of God’s squeezed tears –
here funnelled from him by the doctrinaire

Where my path rises with logs as steps
the deluge descends in no need of grip –
making me turn to take another route
to the higher ground where your boat should sit

In your clearing – of the sawn and fallen –
you list in pairs and shout deaf-ear orders
finding many gone – or now missing –
‘I have to postpone my plans for The Flood’

Your holy fable finds a level in puddles
where water pools in the lowest place –
and in the clearing there is no Ark –
Others will say when the seas are raised

 

Early in Uckfield

So, they were gathered early
in their Sunday best
for a christening,

and she said that kids
can be so irritating,
as she sipped coffee in Costa,

and then she complains
about the churches
which let children run wild:

He asks if you can rip a new fiver,
and the man with the plummy voice
jokes about fake Euros.

Then an American accent plays
within this cobbled troop,
with his knowledge of money,

as one of their kids, jacketed,
wanders among the group,
with a straw, Irritating them all.

My Lady of Good Encounter

Benoite, you are not, but still a reader of hearts,
a live angel on Earth, but not the saint of Laus:
that girl watched Christ, she witnessed his passion,
and I watched you undress with stiff absolution:

The lace-pull of perfume took her down from the hill,
whilst here in your thighs I drank from a well:
I saw her people slow-mo into prayer,
the rest fell in agony in that melee.

Benoite was sent to the Valley of Kilns,
by a dark-skinned Saint who worked those hills,
and I fall to sleep on your flattened breast,
as you turn your head and see your own Benoite.

The Witness

They are overshadowed by that evergreen giant,
the one thousand year witness to ceremonies,
to burials, and namings.

Coal was once hoarded where the hollowing
of the yew meets the earth. There, inside God’s tree,
they find a held shelter,

but the air is reduced, taxine within the yew’s
five propped branches, he is hallucinating
as he tastes her,

that passed mead of love, now drugged by her.
Add Odin’s ability to bind and unbind,
and a two millennia lie,

he has no defences left, hung, and crucified
by the centre of her which wets his fingers
in the yew’s compression.

Stephen Fry on Entering Heaven

“How dare you create a world
in which there is such misery..”

Fry cast out the kids’ cancer gifts –
sent forth by the tri-ghost ministry:

“Why should I respect a capricious,
mean-minded.. god?”

Thus he spake on R.T.E.,
tipping an Overman nod.

“The god who created this universe..
is.. clearly a maniac..”

No Stephen Fry tweet,
but a character attack.

“We have to spend our lives
on our knees thanking him.”

And the Gardai burnt time
on Stephen Fry’s meme.

[Original story here ]

The Flood

Evangelina Chamorro Díaz
climbed, primal, from the flood,
risen from muckled timbers,
smothered in Creation’s mud.

Heavy oxen struggled for land,
as Jesus Hidalgo filmed the girl,
some held out calloused hands
to return her to this world.

The deluge, instructed by God,
heaven-sent to test belief –
the sunken cattle didn’t know,
because God is a lying thief.

Evangelina Chamorro Díaz,
on slowed limbs from that slime,
an ascent of natural selection,
proving God isn’t on our side.


Story here.
Video here

C E Hitchens

I live with no religion,
I live without your god,
because they screwed it up –
one hell of a lot:

Mismanaged and misplanned,
offering little in good faith,
instead they demand
a foul life be your grace.

Child sacrifice and abuse,
put upon one’s only son,
in the name of god’s love,
for the good of everyone?

Let us raise a faith,
in our own kind hearts,
and leave it to religion
to blow itself apart.

Holier-than-thou-Saudis

Our dear Saudi friends
are trashing Yemen:
The city of Sana’a
is crumbling again:

Imported bomb-thumps,
and blast of tremors:
‘The Saudis are
fighting Houthi rebels’,

in support of
‘unity government’,
we help blast them,
‘the subordinates’,

across schools, homes,
and pock-marked parks:
Only the UN cries out
at such Saudi-led-larks.