The Tower Journal

Bedell Phillips

Death in Boston

like a snow covered car
creeping down the road
illness moves through
taking pound by pound
nothing left but bones and soul

Three Trees Trinity

apple red tangerine maple gingko yellow
God’s big-hand leaves and crescents
mulch of candy colors
dank winter’s ruin
hidden               then
pure     white     reprieve

Good, Gone

In his garden of
hostas gleaming
new droplets
from their hearts
with John her
beloved brother
his voice deep
vast as mountains

Asked about
her new lover
John said, “Stay
away from him”
like baptism
water again
he gave her
a clean start
then left
for Afghanistan

As Russians march
on Kabul
he then so distant
now so close

She prays in
the small chapel
at Valley Forge
where he never was

God of Mercy
God of Light

Florida Apartheid

So many years to get there—a young girl, she delivered her father’s
cheap boats through cold New Hampshire lakes and channels--
she too short, he too lazy. Now—water’s diamonds, Corvallis
movement, protecting fish, mangrove roots, her soul, essential
Yankee freedom. Then the Marina owner with his five
million dollars, in bed with the building’s Board of Directors.
Magistrate rulings violation, illegal 155 foot yachts block small
apartment sliders. His lawyer speaking throughout the night.
Town council chambers full of her people unable to see what they
came down for: air, baby barracudas, soft touch of morning tides.
Plague of darkness implodes their Southern sun. Hearts need the
prince of tides morning light. Evening twilight swapped out for five
story fishing towers, blaring crew radios and sewage. Financial
apartheid for all races.


low water on the river dark
current like a man’s arm pit hair
moves through parched banks
each side’s mud desecrated
three days constant soaking rain
mosquitos fish eggs worms back
at home again in soft ribbon
rich edges moist and reclaimed
vanquished death for the moment

Copyright © 2016 Bedell Phillips

Bedell Phillips is a writer who edited two magazines: Main Line Style and Chester County Living. Her first book, Edges of Waves, was published in 2011. Around the Bend was her first novel. She was nominated for, “Best of the Net” by Gravel Magazine in 2013 for “Thinking About the Violence.” She has preformed for 100,000 Poets for Change since its inception. Thrums and Tapestry is the author’s third book. Invention of Thrums as a poetic form has driven Bedell’s work in the last several years. Thrums are those threads left on the loom once a tapestry is removed. It is the poem’s last line: the zap, crux, or its essence. Some of the poems published here are in more conventional form, some are thrums. Bedell lives in New England and Florida.

The Tower Journal
Winter  2016