I Love the Poems of Marvin Bell

I am writing fast. I love the poems of Marvin Bell. Here is one:

Mars Being Red

Being red is the color of a white sun where it lingers

on an arm. Color of time lost in sparks, of space lost

inside dance. Red of walks by the railroad in the flush

of youth, while our steps released the squeaks

of shoots reaching for the light. Scarlet of sin, crimson

of fresh blood, ruby and garnet of the jewel bed,

early sunshine, vestiges of the late sun as it turns

green and disappears. Be calm. Do not give in

to the rabid red throat of age. In a red world, imprint

the valentine and blush of romance for the dark.

It has come. You will not be this quick-to-redden

forever. You will be green again, again and again.

I am writing fast. I am lost like the dust motes in the Czarist cafe. Where as a boy I watched old Russian exiles play chess. Helsinki. Long ago now. And I too fight the red throat. Move my knight. Push the akimbo upward “L” of imagined fortune. Everything in that cafe was made crystal. The tall glasses of tea; the serving women; tables and chairs. Only the old chess players were flesh. Oh, and me, and my father, 1958. And the sky so grey, as it is in Finland, grey as a horse lying down in a winter field.

I am writing fast. I love the poems of Marvin Bell.