Charlie Bell at the Writing Hut

When only the right word will do
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See below for sample poems
Writing Hut at Bullingstone
A clear November morning.
I should be writing.
Out of my studio window
I see the narrow folded valley
laid out before me.
The bright emerald green grass,
is gilded by strong horizontal sunlight,
illuminating a landscape of single trees,
ragged woods, rolling slopes and swooping hedges,
all in a sea swell.
The fields pitch and yaw at odd angles
and the electricity poles lean drunkenly,
unsure of their feet.
The deer are sunbathing in the middle field,
quiet, relaxed and still.
A buzzard mews and glides in large circles
and rooks swirl - a sparse untidy cloud over the wood.
All of this played out against the constant theatre
of an ever-changing sky,
a sky you don’t see twice.

I should be writing.

© Charlie Bell Nov 2015
Love in Leigh
Two people stand,
smiling out at us across the hedge,
man and woman of wheat.
Husband and wife freshly constructed
in round straw bales,
fragrant of a fecund summer,
affirming their love to passers by.
A new union marked by their giant effigies:
cylinders for bodies,
bales on their sides for heads,
sheets and paint for faces
plastic bags for clothes.

As time goes on he will lose his cloth face,
and she will lose her bridal bin bags.
The straw will become duller in the weather,
rats will burrow and gnaw at the edges
pigeons will shit on their shoulders
rain will seep into their bodies
worms will eat away at them
birds will pull their sinews for nests
insects will create uneasy internal movements
their trim shapes will become distorted
and decay will ravage their feet.

But the bales will stand firm,
defiant in all weathers,
and last for far longer than might be expected.

Peace garden at Aylesford Priory
So many words for peace and so much strife in the world.
So much beauty of thought and execution, in the face of genocide and greed.
What use then of a garden for any faith race, creed or those of no faith?
What use the noble sentiments and the fine philosophies?
How will sympathetic planting or water features save us from ourselves?

These my friend are the wrong questions and they cannot be answered.
To be in the garden, to in the moment, is enough.
We are reminded of simple truths and values -
Whilst there is beauty and calm in the world, there is hope
and a reminder that everyone loves a garden.


Knife attack in Tunbridge Wells
Shutters closed against the dark,
Attacker circling like a shark,
Sharpest blade of lethal hone,
Cuts the skin as if to bone.
A careless lunge, a sudden slip,
The knife cuts deep, it takes a dip.
The tendon’s cut, no brave bravado,
Our victim’s maimed by an avocado.

In King’s Hospital London a common injury is the cutting of the tendons in the hand caused by fending off a knife attack. In Tunbridge Wells the most common cause of this injury is the clumsy cutting of avocados.
Please do not press

Police follow this van.
It is self-evident that no police follow this van.

This door is alarmed.
This door has no feelings. It is however fitted with an alarm.

No tools are kept in this van overnight.
I hope you are thick enough to be fooled by this.

We value your custom.
We despise you but want your money.

Water in tap may be very hot.
We can’t be arsed to change the thermostat.

Trespassers will be prosecuted.
Not really, but rich sociopathic bastards live here.

Thank you for driving carefully through our village.
Even though we know you didn’t, you arsehole.

Back in 5 minutes.
We don’t know when we’ll be back and neither do you
because we haven’t said when the 5 minutes began.

Male or female attendants may clean these toilets.
If you are lucky.

Polite notice.
Fuck off loser.

Baby on board.
No baby on board, it’s just that I’m a timid driver.

Please do not press.
Or what?

This is a poem,
but only because I say so.

Please do not press me about it.