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Nov 2 · 32
Let me sink
Bella Isaacs Nov 2
Cast me gently, let me sink.
Put me into the person of a smooth grey pebble
Carry me to the shallows, and gently drop me in
That I may fall, disappear, and forget for a bit, the whining treble,
The troubling bass, the choir of cacophonies, a migraine
Appearing around my temples and at my back;
That I may forget, I lack, I lack, I lack, alack.
May the waters churn and lap upon the surface,
I lie, I curl, I sleep, I exist, quiet, in topaz;
My simplicity is a privilege: I don’t need to imagine I’m a gem,
Even if I am. Water covers me, and you aren’t to call them,
Pick me up and dry me until the sea turns garnet the second time.
Let me drown in peace, out trouble; let me remember I’m
Better than waves of doubt would have me think.
Aug 4 · 51
Redemption, part 1
Bella Isaacs Aug 4
My soul was steeped in guilt
Ink was over my conscience, spilt
Obscured, I felt my way through life
Treading carefully on the knife
Edge I used sometimes to cut my dignity
In pain and shame and in indignity
I’d become addicted to more pain
When life dealt it to me again
When I dealt it to me again
I became blind, I saw no gain
I wished for death, I wished for light
I wished that walking through the night
I might be swallowed into the ghost realm
Where once I stood with my pen at the helm
Rewriting, writing, making history
I still think it is a mystery
In some senses, that I pulled through and made it out alive
Only to survive
With guilt, and my parents now holding me
From falling deeper into the emotional self-harming sea.
Jul 20 · 52
Dare to live
Bella Isaacs Jul 20
One life, darling, in this form, at least
One day the sun won’t rise any more in the east
For you, at any rate. Will you be able to say
On that final day, when Fate takes your breath away
You lived it to the fullest?
Made it beautiful even in the second that seemed the dullest?
Here is my advice – do something mad once in a while,
Something that the thought of makes you smile
Not just with delight, but with amusement, too
At its absurdity in it being something you wouldn’t ordinarily do
Take a chance – Take a run, make a dance,
Don’t be shy, and write to that acquaintance,
Compliment a stranger, take photos of ducks,
Order the wackiest ice cream, smile on those times when you’re down on your luck
Because you were brave, and because you dared
To live your life in the truest way that you cared.
I was having a bit of fun, and we need a carpe diem poem every once in a while ;) .
Jun 10 · 58
In my head
Bella Isaacs Jun 10
Fire and brimstone in a head
That rests upon my hands,
On my soft pillow on my bed,
Upon my shoulders, even in foreign lands.
A shell just slightly thicker than an egg’s,
But there is no yolk, only firecrackers
That my heart implores, charges, begs
To stop, before the shell truly shatters
Spitting out the grey matter to populate the skies
With nebulae, since I neglected to be wise.
Jun 8 · 62
Sinner that I am
Bella Isaacs Jun 8
I learnt to start justifying my actions
After years of crying sin
On everything I did and said
And only now the thought pervades my head
Now that I can breath, and I have no one to wrong
Just how wrong I was for the long
Of these two years.
Amongst my fears
I count – Will I ever be as brave, as honest, as forgiving, as principled
As before the time the reality of Life hit me, violent, raw, carried me on its current, limp, unbridled?
Will I find Truth again
Not calling it vain
To struggle and fight
For what is right?
Will I learn to forgive myself, not because ‘it was a hard time, too hard for me to take’,
But come out of the shame I have descended into, and give forgiveness for its own sake?
Jun 7 · 61
For giving constantly
Bella Isaacs Jun 7
I forgive easily, give second chances easily, give easily
I give up more than I can, feasibly,
Until I realise, the stone idol, earthquake crumbling, does nothing but rain stones on me
And I am already so deeply entrenched,
That I forget how to seek strength,
From a God that hasn’t forsaken me.
Jun 4 · 57
Sleeping giant
Bella Isaacs Jun 4
Do you wake up only even now?
She tugged on your toe, sleeping giant, for long
She did not speak in me, but spoke to me
Only now, you get up, and you bow
I grew up silent, my parents saying that shouting is wrong
Perhaps it is, but speaking firmly and clearly
Is the opposite – It demonstrates control and frustrates the enemy
Let measure be your ally, sleeping giant, as you unfurl like an anemone
Though you slept through her trying
Through her crying,
You heard little. True, you woke up sometimes,
And moved mountains, but the times
Are still cruel to her, and you, as the big man, must protect
Those who are oppressed, else your size is your greatest defect -
They are not lords that forget their strength, and so, their duty
To aid those who are in difficulty.
Jun 2 · 55
No strong feelings
Bella Isaacs Jun 2
This minute gives me no strong feelings - “...Going no where...”,
Stornoway, you had it there
Yet we are, just slowly, as slowly as Boats and Trains
And I fear unrequited love too, and I fear the rains
That bless tomorrow, and I fear Dad’s bottle of wine
Will never see the day when the light will shine
Through glasses it’s poured into, and our eyes, and our hearts
I don’t think anyone has even thought about rehearsing their parts
‘Cos it’s a very, very, very long way a way
Too too long way away, freedom to love, to smile, to breath, day.
Jun 1 · 75
Bella Isaacs Jun 1
Gliding on the Isis, Dad at the castle
Not hindered by the usual watern bustle
Summer is come, my sister’s a flower
Unfurling to sweet sixteen’s tune in this hour
Dog roses and nettles, poplar and willow
Leaning over the bow’s bitter pillow
The world’s upside down – Didn’t need the self-posed illusion
To prove it. Elderflower, wine, and face masks are an odd infusion
But I lie, steampunk Docs in first position, stilled in time
Immortalising it in few photos and poor rhyme
Poor as my experiences are rich, but capturing to perfection
The aimlessness of mine, of our, wonderings’, wanderings’, their recollection.
The Magdalen Boathouse opened today, at last! My father treated us to a punting expedition this afternoon. I've loved this activity since I can remember, it is a quintessentially Oxfordian thing to do. It feels like a bit of normality is coming back, but guiltily, I kind of liked having the river to myself.
May 24 · 53
Bella Isaacs May 24
Muse, did you heed the government's call
For social distancing, after all?
I wonder sometimes, why you're not there,
Whether some of my poems are just from your whisper
Over Skype? I sit waiting for you to come online.
Impatient, I call. A tone. 5 minutes. It's fine.
No answer. You answer me less than I answer the man
I should be writing for, though I give you all I can.
Muse, you have me, my mind, my hands,
Ready to serve you, make you great to my friends, to art, to all lands...
What's that? I hear your crackled, fizzled voice across the line,
Once dulcet, mellifluous, I can barely make it out. "Buy a mic!" "No, you put up the volume!" It's fine.
Except it's not. Love me, or hate me, you're mine
And we need to work together through this
Because ink is my, your, lifeblood, words, a lifekiss
You tell me I can't force words upon a page
And in my childish, petulant, repressedly silent, still sage, rage
I tell you "It's all that some of us have right now."
You sigh. I sigh. "Do you remember, Inspiration, remember, how
One enlightened fifteen-year-old said
"Genius is the ability to create
Out of Nothing."?"
May 20 · 108
Sonnet on Stone idols
Bella Isaacs May 20
Pray, seek not glory for thyself for love.
Learn from the master: ‘Tis a waste in shame
To think the earth and sky and wills to move,
To think to make Heaven thunder thy name,
To think that falling stars are thine to keep,
To think that one converse with merfolk can,
To think thou know’st the place where fairies sleep,
Believe thou canst turn stone into a man.
If such, thy sweetest idol, asks for blood,
Wouldst thou grant it him, to appease his wrath?
And even if he asked thee to do good,
Look to his brow, if he a conscience hath;
If such are the demands that thou hast done,
Believe, he is no better than a stone.
May 14 · 73
When this is all over
Bella Isaacs May 14
When this is all over,
Assuming it’s nice weather,
Let’s take punt of some description and conquer the Thames.
When this is all over,
When we can meet together,
Let’s make all Oxford sick of our songs and games.
The air cries for youthful fun and folly,
The butterflies, birds and brooks are jolly,
I look on and I smile, but inside I’m glum;
Since this promising May
Makes no promise today
The date on which the end of this prison shall finally come.

When this is all over,
Let’s take to fields of clover,
Let’s tear down through New College Lane
Crying for the love of life though you’d think we’re insane
I’m tired of walking and having to feign
Being happy, when the secret to happiness shall always remain:

“Por sentir la gioia,
devi condividerla” - Mark Twain
May 13 · 66
Almost unto dust
Bella Isaacs May 13
Messy ink, ragged paper, dust
I laid them down to gather dust
And came back to them only now
Sorting, sitting, wondering how
A few weeks ago these worksheets
Were my world, these were feats
Of daily effort to a common goal
Now, never to be touched by all of us at all.
And saying “To think...” to my sister, who didn’t hear,
And likely never will, I all but let go of a single tear.
My first A Level paper was due to be sat next Friday, and now that will never happen, and it is likely that none of my year will ever go back to school.
Bella Isaacs May 10
Though I may be laughed at for my simplicity
I’d like to assure, I still have the capacity
To learn
To earn,
If they have listened properly to my life and all its cadences,
Each of my doubters’ respects and silences.
A measured retaliation to being called "gullible" and being questioned on whether I could survive university abroad.
May 7 · 104
My chief fault
Bella Isaacs May 7
I am a girl, since in my soul I know no better, of curious notions:
I take storms in teacups
I collect them, and channel them into whirlpools
When my soul can no longer take the ups
And downs, when I no longer possess the tools
To build a façade, or can no longer hold them
I accumulate the dust from molehills
And make them into volcanoes, from which stem
And flow the plumes of fumes and spills
Of my lava anger.
And if my spirit intellect were stronger,
I would not bottle my emotions.
Anyone else like that?
Bella Isaacs May 4
Why do I feel like I’m falling?
It isn’t me, it’s lost time falling
Away from my feet.

But why should time be lost,
When it is I that am lost,
I acknowledge my defeat

In the face of my own blind pride
And beg that you might spend another second beside
One who deserves to fall from grace,
But in its place
Is flying, soaring, hurtling,
At a rate so star-rate startling
I had to still my coursing thoughts to realise
All of this beauty is passing before my eyes
Passing in my life, and I saw none of it.
I accepted, lived in, used, but saw none of it.
Therefore it isn’t time that should be lost,
When I failed to make the most
Of it, when it’s my value that’s falling
And its is rising, and I’m failing
To match it, in its falling, and its rising,
And realising
Far too late, the worth
Of stopping, admiring, planting ones feet into the earth
For just a minute.
Living in the minute since I am, you are, we are, in it.
Apr 29 · 153
Of Ants and Giants
Bella Isaacs Apr 29
Ravished by lethargy, I sat outside, and gazed at the ground,
Then, thinking, how all the ants and flies went about so sound
About their business, I posed a question in my mind:
Are they aware of our misfortune, or are they blind
And thus continuing untroubled, and so unhindered,
And so thriving...? As we just sit, bewildered,
Inindustrious, confined as mentally
Just as we are physically...
And if we go, dozy giants that we are,
Neglecting of the fact, will it truly matter?
Apr 26 · 73
Memory Journey
Bella Isaacs Apr 26
Once more, through town upon my bike, I flew
On Marston Rd, to think, that once, I knew
This road was as the daily one to school.
Then up through Cowley, thinking myself a fool
That hot summer’s day
To make the same way
Down Magdalen St so late, so mad,
Thinking of the fun I had…
Then down past school, the roundabout
Where I’d do a quarter turn about
Each and every day a month ago.
Even past the fields, father would not let the river slow,
The river of my memories, as he asked were these familiar to me
Too? And so they were; Rounders, tennis, punting days’ insanity
Have not escaped my mind just yet.
Up High St, past the colleges, I could not bet
For thoughts to be abated. My sweet town
Bereft of all but my memories strewn down
As I still rode on, and down Queen’s Lane now
Where many a happy lonely moment was spent, thinking how
I rushed down there with shopping early before Christmas…
Taking the corner, admiring the blooms, and fast
The next one, and my chest is filled with a twinge
As I remember a rainy night beneath New College Bridge…
Then St Helen’s Passage, the Bridge of Sighs, the Sheldonian!
My sweetest, proudest moments as an Oxonian…
Broad St, broad and small from lack of crowds
Still my head is in the clouds -
And St Mary Magdalen, the concert with my brother in winter,
The Ashmolean standing tall within the hinter,
And up St Giles, and down the Lamb and Flag,
Thinking of the afternoons I’d sometimes drag
Walking there, various aims or none in mind,
Now leaving the Natural History Museum behind,
And Dad reminds me of the trees that used used to fruit
Along Park Rd where now there are none… So, en route.
Bella Isaacs Dec 2019
Childhood lessons are revisited
But through the eyes of one much younger than myself
Old films, old books, old pictures, taken off the shelf
Are brought back to the eyes of one visited
By all that once I was told worthless;
I realise now it they aren't children that are earthless
They are us. What is it, that they teach us now?
How to compete, ******* others, ourselves, how
To deny life of its substance, and to be hypocrites to those we love
They give us empty quotes, say that we can prove
More just by thinking, and what of feeling?
What of looking, what of loving, what of kneeling
To thank the Earth for that which we have,
And that which we yet may give?
Rather than thinking solely of ourselves, let us do
That which our parents taught their children to be true.
I think sometimes, that we completely forget about the lessons of gratitude, courtesy, common sense and kindness our parents taught us. I feel more of a child than my 6 year old sister, and that scares me, but also makes me think - What can I do, to be better? To be more knowledgeable, wise, kind and beautiful in my soul? How can I become my childhood ideal?
Bella Isaacs Nov 2019
I am the bride of God but in this play;
Some 6 months standing from today
My boyfriend will be standing yet again
Administering soft words to the pain
Abounding through my mind, and in my hands,
Attempting to convey the mastery of foreign lands
And foreign times to a class of disenchanted youths,
Imagining a number of nightmarish truths
That may destroy my fantasy of July
And prove to my peers for once and for all that I
Am a failure... Hein? Non non. My Fall’s bruise
Is still felt, and Guilt, uneasy, guards my Muse
Yet I am Isabel, I am yet Rosine
And wonders are still yet to be felt and seen
Yes I will prove I can yet master quite the scene
And fantasise le meilleur Barbier that’s ever been…
And in the meantime, enjoy Thursday at the hour of one
Pronouncing French words that we’ve never done
Throw my darling down upon the floor,
Cry out on love though my throat is sore,
Stand the exam officer’s son upon a classroom chair,
Jerusalem’s tune rings loud within the air
When the main man fit it to Beaumarchais,
And my heart still rests with His tender couplet…
He only wagered all on my appearance from my jalousie
And I delivered, so let’s wait and see.
A student director's juxtaposition of pessimism and optimism on what may be quite the undertaking of her life, but worth it. Commiserating with the Comte de Almaviva.
Oct 2019 · 270
Upon Finishing the BMAT
Bella Isaacs Oct 2019
100 metres to the end,
The finish line’s in sight
You’re laughing,’cos you can’t defend
Your feelings from last night
‘Cos it was all fine, not to worry
Your legs were there to carry you
“It is all mine”, so slightly sorry
Your lack of practice tarried you
But in the end, it is all blind
You can only wait and hope
You’ve left the others far behind
And tripping in the scope
Pete Hall may have a named place
And your name draws from the hat
And then the name’s stuck to the face
Before you know, that’s that
And if it ain’t, well then it ain’t
No use crying over lord’s own spilled paint
In the back of your mind, there’s still a force
Adding “St Andrews had a very nice course.”
Oct 2019 · 99
Try Hard
Bella Isaacs Oct 2019
Doing one’s best is a chore.
Can I not do it? No more.
I have offered you all
But you just let it fall
In one **** messed up heap on the floor.

— The End —