One Poem by James Bell

Written in response to this month’s Special Challenge.

Imagine in Paris

1.

even all those years ago on original vinyl
it brought a lump to the throat
you let go on only in private

the lump returns as you see and hear it played
on a mobile piano on a cold Paris street
by fingers dressed in fingerless gloves

even with the slight honky-tonk time you feel
the surge of the words as the tune
lingers outside Bataclan – tinkles

through a crowded and silent street
except for the strange percussion
of camera shutters that don’t quite fit

nobody tries to sing – know the lyrics –
its composer would have approved
down to how blood stuck to the piano wheels

2.

so much is hidden in maps
like those from five hundred years before us
and Paris a shadow of its present self

a gift each time we visit
and tread again this city’s memories
it’s engagement with love and death

takes life like the next word – how
it arrives in the next moment – how
nothing is ever quite what you expect

not easy to acknowledge – to chart
blood on piano wheels as if it was yesterday
every cartographer knows you cannot map futures

 

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.

2 thoughts on “One Poem by James Bell

  1. Really good poem, my fave lines:

    even with the slight honky-tonk time you feel
    the surge of the words as the tune
    lingers outside Bataclan – tinkles

    through a crowded and silent street
    except for the strange percussion
    of camera shutters that don’t quite fit

    Liked by 1 person

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