POETRY: A Symphony of Bones by Connor van Bussel

Tombstone (1880), Arnold Böcklin

Connor van Bussel is a writer born in Devon but residing in Cardiff. After graduating from Cardiff University in 2017 he hopes to one day become a full-time writer, specialising in horror and fantasy novels. His first poetry publication was in 2016 in Tŷ Celf and he hopes to continue to write poetry.

I dreamt of Rimbaud
And he warned me that
Hash is no cure for
The poetic affliction –
Nor chemical bonds
Nor evening haze,
Nor summertime dripped
Across the mouth of the cave.

I feigned deafness as
I walked through familiar streets.
I knew that if ever he met me
He would be ashamed of how I
Delved deeper and deeper
Into the underbelly of the forest,
As he had delved
Looking down at waves crashing
Across the way.
I once told him that he
Wouldn’t have believed where I’d
Been the other day.

In January I met
Somebody who was
Hard to shake,
We played Russian roulette,
Wake and bake,
And threw tarot cards
Into the rushing water of
The River.
And through oaken eyes
I clung on to silky skies
As those days stretched
Out longer and
Longer and then half a decade later
A summer comes so hot and
Laced with powder.

Then when out in the valley
With the wolves
We rolled the bones
To see who would be left standing
By the end of it –
Across the world slightly,
A similar game was being played
And one day when I go to the folly,
And look down over the cliff’s edge,
I will see as he saw –
A symphony of bones at the water’s edge
And I will thank the ocean
That nothing ever went that wrong
With us.