Home > Issues > Issue Teaser: “Morning Bells are Ringing” by Jessie Jones, PRISM’s 2015 Poetry Contest First Runner-up

zs-BryrR_400x400We’re one week away from launching our summer issue, 53.4 and we’re excited to offer you another sneak peak of the meaty inside (best served with butter). For your sampling, we have Jessie Jones’s “Morning Bells are Ringing”, PRISM’s 2015 Poetry Contest First Runner-up

Jessie was also PRISM’s First Runner-up for the 2014 Poetry Contest. We hope that she’ll submit again for the 2016 Poetry Contest, because third time’s a charm, right? Best of luck and happy poetry!

Morning Bells are Ringing

Patient ambulance boils over
the roads and when it arrives,
I’m starring in the role of bandaged
head wound, ambulating the haunted
white rooms of Jubilee, an elixered
bouquet in each arm.

The bedside linguist tips flash cards
in the blank ward. Diamond. Bone. Cactus.
Masterpiece. For days, I can’t find my foot
or middle name, but my mouth keeps filling
with kid French, the bald lark, the brother
singing Dormez-vous? Revez-vous?

My self comes back in turns,
in sunburns, in the symphonic shift
to spring. But sometimes the rattle
resumes, Hungarian opera with its razor
strings bringing the smell of a picnic
basket once burned by an aunt or the scrape
of a skirt in an allemande left with the corner.

During nightly walks, I make tender goals
towards healing. When the firs appear, I will turn
home; when I hear the grass risen of a deer
bed: I will recite the body includes, and is, the meaning;
when forgetting seizes, brain knocking in its saddle,
hold on, goddamn. I’ll slip from under the overripe sky
dropping ides and turn in the direction of light.
Peel back horizons of recollection
until, like a plainsmen lost
in not-yet-Saskatchewan, I’ll follow
the scent of a phantom ocean.


Jessie Jones’s work has appeared in CV2, The Puritan, Poetry London, BODY, filling station, and is forthcoming in Echolocation. She has been shortlisted for The Malahat Review’s Open Season Poetry Award, Arc’s Poem of the Year, and PRISM’s 2014 Poetry Prize. She currently lives in Victoria, BC.