Originally from Surrey in England, but now in good old Sussex by the Sea. Uckfield is a small town with small ambitions, but a huge heart.
What is the greatest thing about the place you call home?
Being a small town it provides me with a wealth of subjects and a broad range of friendships: strangers talk here too – I often get comments about my poetry from random passer-bys.
What turns you on creatively?
This countryside is historic, of ancient routes and stories, but not a theme park for nature: the land has to be worked, the rivers sourced for water, and those tensions and complexities of modern and old are the stresses which motivate me to challenge and explore the place in which I live.
What is your favorite word, and can you use it in a poetic sentence?
About aged seven I came across the word ‘concentric’ in an old encyclopedia, my own discovery, an enthrallment. This is the usage of it in my work:
Excerpt from ‘The Mower’
He has cut the grass around Stonehengefor twenty summers, end-to-end, ever concentric, from outer to inner, he pulls out blades with the retreat of winter.
Excerpt from ’F5’
My search was inherited, in spine-bust encyclopaedias: I learnt the word ‘concentric’, and skipped the Roman Empire.
Excerpt from ‘Measured’
I was taught to spot the imperfect years by measuring, with eye and finger the varied distances, the thicknesses of those concentric, almost-whirled, bark-marked lines in the bared-ankles of cut trunks: Dendrochronology.
Excerpt from ‘Pub, 7pm’
Stood tall-table straight, with concentric rings, beer becomes central, at last order’s rings.
Been caught out – guilty of repetition!
What is your pet peeve?
What defines Mike Bell?
Not my broader being, not my disease, although poetry is my daily ritual to offset dementia risks, not my poetry: perhaps defined by my ability to shift in work and life, trading on my restlessness.
I needed a ritual to my writing, these poems are the result. My inspiration comes from the daily events, connections, interactions, and small things, which all seem to demand bigger attention from me. These poems form a narrative to my life, politically and emotionally, which I hope find engagement with other individuals whom are also just trying to get by, with, or without any diagnosis:
It is not what I am paid to do It requires a daily commitment I cannot complete a crossword, but I will attempt to complete verse complexities My children will need something to fill the vacuum we all create These words help me to cry out, cry, and work out why If I make someone respond, then I will have lived a life worthy of a life.