three river sonnets
your eyes seek a reason for a wrecked bike in the river mud before your mind kicks in while a girl forces laughter at a distance and only you make this link there is no other only you entertain a lack of order in everything beyond stone or water or air to live in the present you decide there must be blurred borders around it to survive there is a sense that a past existed for today to arrive this is your border of randomness that needs to be crossed again and again and again when the laughter ends ~ the water before you how it licks itself is less malleable than it first appears feathers fall from the gull with a lame foot the supermarket trolley the bicycle are both half sunk in mud have reached a final resting place will be sucked under in time the gull does a stutter dance on the one good foot as an acceptance the sun appears from behind clouds you watch the transformations take place say a silent farewell to the gull and go while trolley and bicycle sink microscopically ~ it is good to take the long view you turn away from the wind that stings your face no matter where you decide to walk sit and notice how the gulls too have taken positions close beside you near the old bridge neither you nor the gulls feel closer or could ever consider an entente cordiale opposite three people clear a boat from river silt with spades they work in haste while the next tide creeps in as bidden by the moon shifts that could bring floods the boat looks like an ark though too small for all pairs to board you think maybe a signal to head for higher ground you speculate there is still time to indulge in the long view
James Bell is Scottish and now lives in France. He has written and published poetry for twenty years. At present he is at work on his first short story collection.