Oak Cliff Poets
Gayle Bell

Gayle Bell is an African American womanist whose work has appeared in "Diversity 2000" published by the Austin International Poets; "Broken Sky" benefiting the Walt Whitman Community School; "Poetic Healings" published by Chinwe Odeluga; "Sinister Wisdom", Healing Issue; and "Kente Cloth, Southwest Voices of the African Diaspora", UT Southwest, James Mardis, Editor. Ms. Bell has 2 published books of poetry, "Benediction" and "Primal Gospel", both published by Genuien Lizard Press. A third book, "Open Song", is to be published this year. Ms. Bell lives and loves in Dallas, Texas.


Sometimes my hand is on the door
Ready, steady, go.
can feel the impersonal knob
ready goodbye
that voice I hardly listen to
Loops messages
"wise fools have said there's only one in a person's life,
the others are just pleasant facsimiles"
what if
drags my hand off the door
retorts unsaid
crying a dirge to my freedom
where my greener grass theories
lie dormant rippling under the faultlines
when we are breast to back
and cuddle bear hugs
nothing else makes sense
but the hanging moments when I've landed

Gayle Bell, 1999. All rights reserved.

Looking Into

I used to think that
had to be wrapped in flames of lust
I felt the scorch of desire
I used to think
was in fast caprice
before I felt
the racing of your heart
I used to think a bunch of things
that have nothing to do
with the way I feel now
What a tremendous feeling
To know in the bones you are loved
I laugh in the face of unknown days
Secure in the branches of your love.



This is how it is
about us
night wrapped tight
surrounding us
the dialogue for the evening
we have this much space
between us
on the couch
the fluid motion of your hand
caressing mine
sound and light compress
and expand
the possibilities
of us


And when Im dead
they will say
she preached to much
the world still goes its own way
my ashy ass
will have missed it
couldnt control nothing when she was around
she going to be real pissed
when she finds out
she couldnt run nothing there either
when my remains are
added pollutants
they will say she died poor
Oh well, I was born that way
When Im gone Ill have the memories of love
no regrets
no reason
to tsk tsk tasket
to hell in a basket
There will be a memorial
loves and family
who know the real deal
will tell all my business
Ill listen
and laugh till I cry


Tim Wood | Janelle DuBois | Jim Dolan | Patricia Golden | Janie Starkey | Robert Starkey | Gayle Bell