Who put Bella in the Wych Elm?

On stone walls and fences near Hagley Wood
the question appears in ghostly script:
Who put Bella in the Wych Elm?

They found her in its hollowed trunk
back in ’43. Wedged inside her musty grave
to grow stiff, to slumber undiscovered,
unnoticed, unnamed.

Who put Bella in the Wych Elm?
for she didn’t climb in alone. Gagged
with a scrap of taffeta, missing tooth
and hand–until the cryptic message
no one knew her name.

In a rotting womb, so far from the light
bones become legend, for trees tell no tales.
And every few years, the same phrase appears:
Who put Bella in the Wych Elm?

– Ryan Stone

first published by Black Poppy Review, May 2017

Poem published at Black Poppy Review

Black Poppy Review is my favourite place to find poetry of a darker nature.

Sandy has amassed a superb collection of writing exploring themes of horror, the supernatural, gothic, dark fairy tales, ghosts and many other disturbing things.

Today I’m excited to have a new poem published in the journal – Who put Bella in the Wych Elm?

Please have a look and let me know your thoughts. It’s a wonderful, creepy journal and well-worth exploring.




** Two Poems Published **


This month I’ve been taking part in the 20 Poem Challenge hosted by Lorette at the wonderful site – The Ekphrastic Review. I had grand plans of writing a poem a day for the challenge but…well, let’s just say I have a lot of catching up to do!

Though I’ve fallen behind in the challenge, I’ve had the good fortune of having two of my contest poems published.

The first, Interior, was published on one of my favourite sites – Black Poppy Review. I’m so happy that Sandy is open for submissions once more. Black Poppy is a brilliant collection of all things dark and well worth a visit.

The second, Mother’s Hands, appears on the host site itself – The Ekphrastic Review. Another site that I visit frequently and really enjoy. Plenty of great writing and Lorette is a very talented artist who displays and sells her work directly from the site.