The Saturday Poem: Points

A new poem by Amanda Bell

Amanda Bell at the Marsh’s Library, St Patrick’s Close, Wood Quay. Photograph: Alan Betson

Amanda Bell at the Marsh’s Library, St Patrick’s Close, Wood Quay. Photograph: Alan Betson

 

(after Kathleen Jamie)

My arrowheads, no harsh tongues these
but tiny points for felling forest birds –
folsam and clovis, in creamy stone,
black flint and splintered chert
bound to a shaft by hide.

Arrayed before me here by hue and heft
as I renovate a printer’s tray –
drawing a blade along each joint,
fine-brushing every nook and crack,
spirit swabbing to ensure a grip
for backing papers, chosen to offset
the colours of each stone, cast light on
hard-struck angles.

Tools fallen out of use,
they take their place in ink-stained wood,
nestled in the abandoned bed of words.

Amanda Bell’s haibun collection Undercurrents (Alba, 2016) was shortlisted by the Haiku Foundation for a Touchstone Distinguished Books Award. Her illustrated children’s book The Lost Library Book is published by The Onslaught Press, and her poetry collection First the Feathers is forthcoming from Doire Press.