Yes, Thank you Ensign: A New Poem by Liam Bell


I found myself on a Friday, to no avail, found out I used to be Pope in a past life and a French working woman in another. I felt no different. All there is are my lungs guttering water. I asked
politely for air, to no avail.

Yes Ensign

I controlled a whole religion, swathes of confidences
and I controlled the chickens, and the sun rise.
Fixed it so when I speak the day dawns and the chickens lay
on one word: go. And men march for one word: god. My banner the one they fly under, and my mouth gives tongue to his thunder. “Only a cock crows, coco-ri-co coco-ri-co and a flash of lightening”

Yes Ensign, Thank you

That’s right, Mr Hines gone to loose his mind again,
sick in a bucket that already held the gizzard of
a boy my father once employed. There it is again, chickens, you
see they won’t leave you alone even after you kill them. Headless
and running after my dresses when I was a young girl in Francheville, Get them by the gizzard, mother said with conviction.

Yes Ensign, Thank you he’ll be there

In the sixteen hundreds no less, Ha! and before that well it’s difficult to tell in such retrospect. Years mellowed away from all wars, all front lines, only work and sun therein; so fold up any peaceful memories, tucked up like swan necks in the blanket, in the Asylum field, in the barrel chambered.

Yes Ensign, Thank you he’ll be there with his cannon

Bolder than God if not on par. It must eat up all my wishes in one go, and repeat to make doubly sure they’re blown. Then a nice cup o’ tea sorts everything out, worries out the window like my old life vestments to dry in a hot minute. And still the batteries moan o o O,
and shoot fire with occult power

Yes Ensign, Thank you he’ll be there with his cannon on his duty

Putting my wits on leave, my spirit AWOL. I let my system walk back
to the station whilst putting make-up on my thoughts, dolled up
(because they behaved like a bad dog). Guilt is a holy province and lives scattered around my frame like chickens seed spade untidy on the lawn, like limbs spade loosely on the field. Holding each other because we were young lovers, and I only a maid! Thee black smoketh riseth and ist decided I am to Pope from now on, and I not even a catholic, o! what a morning! Please, shall we go out for some air?

Yes Ensign, Thank you. He’ll be there with his cannon on his duty.

Bio: Liam Bell is a poet, performer and student. Originally from Hawarden in North Wales, Liam is now in his third year studying English Literature at Aberystwyth University. He has previously been published in the ‘Make Time For Aberystwyth’ poetry and short story anthology and is a frequent performer in Aberysytwyth’s English and Creative Writing Society (ECWS).


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