how the trigger works – poem by James Bell

how the trigger works

the way it works
no – the way it doesn’t work
is that you enter this reverie
only to have it broken by a wren
whose song is much too loud
for its size as it sits
on the banister of a metal staircase
built into a concrete corner –
it appears to enjoy the echo
and the extra volume this creates
then goes
…………….we were like that
though the noise
was more muted
relied on silences
and gestures of the unsaid
the smiles of mutual understanding
of independent thoughts
that were all unique
tempered by the incidence
of being there
…………….then not there
where the interval became longer
where recollection is triggered today
by a small bird with a loud voice
as you sit in the car
in front of a metal staircase
set in the corner of high concrete walls –
know the trigger will be
something else tomorrow
or the next day


James Bell has published two poetry collections the just vanished place and fishing for beginners. Born in Scotland he now lives in Brittany where he contributes photography and non-fiction to an English language journal. He continues to publish poetry and short stories on an international basis both online and terrestrially.