Published: January 18th, 2015
Lana Bella has her diverse work of poetry and fiction published and forthcoming with Atlas Poetica, First Literary Review East, Cecil's Writers' Magazine, Deltona Howl, Thought Notebook, Earl of Plaid Lit, Kiki Howell for a War Anthology: We Go On, Undertow Tanka Review, Wordpool Press, Global Poetry, Family Travel Haiku, The Voices Project and Eunoia Review. She resides on some distant isle with her novelist husband and two frolicsome imps.
The Trumpet Man
The fading sun slopes on cobbled street,
as frosty gale prowls beneath the awning lights.
There bends a man in bristly beard and shaggy coat,
driving off the cold with his trumpet scales.
Passing idlers poise, snatching the timed half-notes
to thaw the jarring shadows within a small alcove pale
until their shelter strays, cast away by the skying moon.
And weep the haunting drags of the echoed wind
out from thousand memories that never leave,
when will the wrecks of life that born the wistful tunes?
Still by the lamp post glowed, as evening comes,
the trumpet man in robe of night and dulcet moans
dark garbs the ground, yet unclothes his threads of pride
and bleeds him through with blade of jagged tip.
An Old Woman and the Holy Ghost
Inside a blue-washed room,
the old woman bends over a worn, gaping book,
chasing the words across the pages, she thumbs
her papery skin saddled on rawboned face
a pair of reading glasses pinched the freckled nose,
resting upon sunken cheeks
gouged by the lived-on years.
Only the stupor of loneliness caresses
her snowy-haired, pressing down
the lined fingers moving in neglect above the inky words.
She looks past them, peers out the arched window
bordering the ramshackle papered wall:
where the trumpet vines shroud in heavy weeds
as a dark moving shape flits over the stony moon
like Satan's cozy fiend flapping its ample wings
tossing bucketfuls of two-ton air,
rocking the belted wind-chimes from the
She watches the sky turns gray then drains of light,
when a holy ghost passes through the panels thin
with pale petals weld beneath its footsteps near,
leaving the floorboard in blanched disarray:
hollow, the stinging breath collapses her will,
yet neither pained nor sharp in racking spells
limpid coating of burning ash, and narrow slit for eyes
pent in its concave hole.
Down the foot, the thin book lays aground
the old woman takes hold of the holy ghost’s unfurled hand,
it glows a baleful red
five burned fingertips palm her bone,
then out the footpath to the refuse-lain threshold:
slow and sad, they will walk the earth
strange companions as soon to be had, by the
two lonely ghosts in a dwelling
neither one holds.
The Watery Bone
Floating up the river,
she was just a watery bone
sinking into the muddy earth
wading down the pockmarked hole
strangling by the shadowed moon.
Unsown, she came sideways in a hollow pool
of muddled thoughts and collapsed silence
tied in a skin-sewn cloth of russet hair, caked
heavy with dripping clay and crimson blood,
where river moss of flaked verdigris falling
off from the vacant eyes to the bloated belly,
to the undermost of her arched pale toes.
A Spanish Lullaby
Your champagne-colored hair
was veiled from the red brewing sun
under a ribbons-plaited bonnet white;
you looked sidelong about the garden green
crooning then a Spanish lullaby.
Fair curls spilled on bent shoulders loose
as rich turns of laughter dimpled your cheeks aglow
while swiftly stirred the pleated skirt a gushing breeze
raised up tulle-laced panels with stitched petals high,
into such brightness of air your rhythms rose
beyond the jutting boughs where scarlet flowers dwelt
its smoky chords scoured the listening groves
for some songbird who'd chime your throaty peals,
you skipped bare feet upon the tall grass cambered low
and seven and six and five and four and three and two
the soaring notes from lips bare of varnished rouge
trickled down like iced-sugar leafs strewed on blossoms' skin.
he opens his eyes to
feast on the silver belly of her tongue.
Rising grooves and dipping folds,
she spins syllables of black-lace silk
and organza tulle,
smeared thick in linguistic marmalade:
slanted Ls curve over spiraled Os then plunge
in the vessel brimming of apostrophes.
With a makeshift oar he rows,
upon her moist pink buds
speckled of umlauts' lilt.
When the moon turns gold and he begs for a kiss:
she wings her laughs by the air lays cold
"Thirst is despair, Darling!" her whisper severs
through his parched suspense.