The Bell Jar: Jo Bell's blog

"She lives the poetry she cannot write" – Wilde

Absent friends

Folks, I am on my annual writers’ retreat in Anglesey. The sun is shining and it’s been an amazing time of creating and catching up. But one of our number is missing. I know that the ‘deceased poetry friend’ poem can be a self-indulgence; but indulge me. This is a token to remember Ann Atkinson, whose laughter and panache we miss.
Wish you were here

Wish you were here!

Dear Ann
A postcard from Trearddur Bay

We have arrived, in separate little cars
and brought in bags of cigarettes and hot cross buns.
The one who talks too much has talked too much,

the one who leans in doorways with a coffee cup,
the one who nips outside to smoke, the one who
cares – we do our daily thing. We pick up pebbles.

All our little pairs and cliques have set and shifted
as they always do, and we are cooking stews
and making tea for one another, listening in bed

to waves, to teaspoons stirring downstairs
and to laughter. In between the sounds
we hear the tide clock ticking in the dining room

and know that everything in there is lit up
by chrysanthemums. We’re not the praying sort.
We’re here, together. I don’t know if we’ve arrived
but you were here already when we came.

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2 comments on “Absent friends

  1. wendyfrench
    March 20, 2013

    One of the most refreshing and meaningful poems I’ve read for months. Thank-you. And I love the sand art too.

    • Jo Bell
      April 1, 2013

      Thanks Wendy – very pleased to hear this. Must confess that the sand art was by A.N.Other but the poem is all mine.

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This entry was posted on March 20, 2013 by in Writing exercises.
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