Category Archives: bella

Shirley: Back Story As Told To Bella, part one by pd lyons





10 days maybe a few weeks   after my capture? housed with the other prisoners from various units. not many of us 12? 15?  my luck had held. our captors did not know I was not the young boy they thought me.

it was not pleasant but nothing torturous. we were fed crap food, slept on hard earth floor, not many blankets n such. we might have been shoved on occasion, but mostly they mocked us, jeered us in broken language

So now observers have you enjoyed your trip?

Did you see what you wanted?

Don’t worry we still have sights for you don’t we …

and they would laugh.

eventually the tempo seemed to increase, the shoves turned to occasional slaps or spitting or tripping or a kick. I was lucky enough to be nimble but was more uncomfortable with the rough seduction attention paid to me –

beautiful boy, fine young fellow,

remarks about the smoothness of my skin –

that made me feel ill.

one morning earlier than usual, the sun rise hardly bringing colour to the sky, we were roughly called to attention.

Marched out one by one single file

For a moment I thought, this is it. But out in the yards well covered by the weapons of our guards we were each handed a dirt shovel herded up onto the flat bed of a truck.

we were driven a for miles

the country side

old pasture ground

circled by woodland.

we disembarked, well aware of much activity around us.

other trucks


some in uniform

some not

all with weapons and belts of ammo.

we were told –

now observers you will see.

come on move.

we were brought to where there were great slopes of fresh dug earth

equally mounds of whitish sand or maybe powder,

past which a long ditch.

my stomach churned

I knew this was death.

other trucks covered in canvas arrived. stopping in the distance. Backed toward our direction. Some of the men form lines parallel to each other at the backs of the trucks. Others I’d say about 20 stood nearer the pit by us. Then the back of truck was opened. Men women children pushed dragged thrown –

beaten between the lines of waiting men

run you fuckers! run!

clothes grabbed torn, some naked by the time they were lined up in small groups. Then facing the ditch

immediately shot by the soldiers who had been waiting near to us.

a whole truck load maybe 30 maybe 40 done like that.

now observers something to see yeah.

now shovel! shovel! or you next.

we were to shovel layer of white then layer of earth. my group on one end another group at other end.

once done another truck was emptied. beaten naked people shot . again we’d shovel. I had been trained to be a soldier; I had been trained to kill in official and non-official capacity but this…

I could not breath I could not think.

scorpion night 9 pd lyons

scorpion night 9 pd lyons

she thought they would be safe, from Bella and Shirley by pd lyons


– she thought they would be safe.

told them that they were supporters, that her older son

was in their army.

sure they said and shoved her, sure then we’ll be gentle.

her youngest son they shot for coming to her aid.

they tied her to the bed post while they did things to her daughter.

then they shot the daughter to death as well.

when we found her she had torn her wrists bloody trying to get free.

She says:

These are not my hands

They do not belong to me.

These are the hands that did not save my children.

She begs us to chop them off

We have to always have someone with her otherwise she tears off the bandages with her teeth.


The woman would speak only in whispers and leaned into Tilkon

– Oh Tilkon said, ah she wants to give you something

meaning Shirley


The woman reached into a canvass bag she’d carried slung across her chest

fumbling, needed help

one of the younger girls who had been her watcher assisted


– are you sure? asked the girl

and the woman nodded

so she handed Shirley the news paper wrapped object.

– it is a shirt . the girl explained. it was for her son.

more whispers

– she thinks it will fit you said the girl,

she wants you to have it.

she made it for her son.

she says yours has too much blood.

Shirley opens the packages.

– thank you she says, thank you for this kindness. gives it to me to hold while she pulls off her bloodied old shirt and puts on the new denim blue carefully fastening each riveted button.


Before we can do anything else the woman, fumbles in the bag again

– Wait she says wait she says out loud in her own voice.

shes pulled out a photograph. rushes up to Shirley

– Here she says her this is my boy, my son, my only child. look

he is not like them

he is no animal

please if you see him

please do not kill him

please his mother loves him tell him

please he is a good boy he would never do such things she waves her arms

across the dead woman across the tied and dying naked man…


Shirley takes the photo

– yes i will remember him. i will promise.

shows me the photo as well

– yes i say, yes i too will promise.


– take the picture back. Shirley says. We will remember, we wont forget.

the woman smiles,

– I know she says . I know.

wipes the tears from her face with her bandaged wrists, turns away comforted by the young girl .



heading to the lady camp from Bella & Shirley by pd lyons

(lady camp)

up in the highlands. a small camp once used by shepherds. there was a clean water source and not much more when we started but now? three small cabins, latrines, cooking fires. Do you now there is a way to make a smokeless fire?

really! i said.

they help each other. whatever one knows is what one does. and for those who didn’t know much, look outs were always needed besides a mind sharpened by the promise of safety and food learns quick. there are even a few men. good men. not always someone’s relation but men who had helped or tried to help. men who had proven themselves. one fellow was an expert with  noiseless ways of trapping animals. there are also some very good fisher ladies she laughed. we live like savages but honest savages. there are things to eat from the wilderness. there are people who can listen to any story and be your sister when you’re done. For the most part we get on . Even the men seem able to keep themselves in line. word gets around and she nodded towards the screaming fellow. there is a vow of no romance until this madness ends.

– you think it will? end? asks Shirley

– I don’t know she answers even lower. But if we don’t conduct ourselves like it will, then we’ll just tear and be torn apart .

Why don’t you come? We should leave soon I’m thinking. You should see the place.

– I’m not sure said Shirley, looking over to me surprisingly demure …We do have business.

– Business?

– You know, things to do.

– Yes she said I know. I know the things you do. It is a business that needs doing. But what we do is good too. Besides there will still be plenty for you to do when you leave us.

you’ll be surprised by how many of our ladies you might know…. I can tell you there are many who’ll never forget you. Anyway I’ll promise to have someone show you, how to make that smokeless fire.

night wood

night wood

(So We Went)

pig! your screams are music to our ears, from Bella & Shirley by pd lyons


pig! your screams are music to our ears.

they had found him still alive.

they had pulled off all his clothes and the clothes of the dead men too

piled some of the filthy rags on his lap.

they had cleaned the corpse of the woman,

laid on branches of evergreen

bruises and broken skin

a few feet from where he was tied to the tree.

they had taken the rag away from his mouth

they had set the nest of rags on his lap on fire

slow smoldering greasy fire

every once in a while when some bit for some reason burned brighter

or faster the heat would make him scream.

there were a half a dozen women around him.

the youngest maybe 15? the eldest – a tuff old grandmother who spat

when she said again

– Pig! Scream go on scream it is music to us!

she came to speak with us….

and in speaking with us she spoke so all could hear

to thank us

to say she did not know the dead woman

to say that it was good for the younger ones

that we had left this Pig alive

so they could see

so they could know

no matter how much guns

no matter how much cruelty

they scream like broken animals

animals broken by the strength of women.

then more quiet she explained where they were headed…


Finally the last…. from Bella and Shirley by pd lyons


Finally the last….

she came down on him hard

brought her full weight onto his chest

grabbed by the hair his gasping face pulled toward her own

she spit

hauled him to his feet

where he had sense enough to notice my weapon.

she’d shifted around

held him from behind

knife to his throat

making certain he got to see his comrades.

dragged him to the tree

rope she called for

he tried to struggle

she knocked the legs out from him.

we secured him with rope and to that tree.

sitting there in the dirt gagged by a rag from one of the dead men.

I jammed his face with the butt of my weapon before we left.


 Leave him.

Let him be a sign  for the rest.


we didn’t go far

only into the woods to where we’d stashed our gear.

Shirley slept



while I,

exhausted from  bearing witness

unable to escape the running tension of my dreams

dozed in and out



They were not difficult to follow, from Bella & Shirley by pd Lyons


They were not difficult to follow

The difficulty was not out pacing them, bumping into them.

drunken men are unpredictable

they could stop, slow or turn back for no reason at all.

Eventually they made a heap of themselves

Slurried, vomited, stupored.

A few still gurgling to finish the drink.


We waited until even the sentry was passed out.


From the wooded side of the road we came.

She ahead.

Me off her right weapon on full auto.

She started with the closest one.

Hand over his mouth knee against his spine 

 Ka-Bar deep across his throat.

One by one, adjusting for their position,

Holding each as if a lust embrace until the spasms stop.

Tough work

slow work

needing to rest in the middle of hell work.

And me thanking whatever god there was left in this sad world for the effects of strong liquor.

She was exhausted but I was not allowed to help.

Expected instead to keep good eyes and ears

regarding those who still lived

and  for any visitors.


general note:

” Always look – know that what you are killing was once human.

Once had pride, dignity, heart.

And those who suffer? Acknowledge them

if you can – touch, remember they are sisters daughter mothers they are our own” – Shirley

We Made our Way from Bella & Shirley by PD Lyons



We Made our Way

deliberately slow through the wood towards the road

– ping ping ping

the noise paused us

– what is that?

– shh

then men, laughter spitting gutter sounds.

then we saw them.

– pig ping ping

then we saw her.

– ping ping

naked bloodied the woman held the steel lamp pole

slamming her forehead into it

– ping

– ping

– ping

I raised my weapon.

lightly Shirley lays her hand on it, a sign for quiet.


in various sates the men

fixing their clothes

gathering their weapons

kicking away empty bottles

arguing over those not yet empty.

eventually ambling away

paid no heed to the woman

spilled too,

a heap of silence at the base of a metal pole.


Once the men move on , out of sight, and sound

I look to Shirley

– “She is better off now. Come. Let’s go.”

so I follow

we angle off to the edge of the road

where we briefly wait

then cross.


the woman was indeed dead

it is hard, to see such things.

But we look.

We always look.

We were witness.

We were the last human contact.

I squat touched her naked still warm shoulder then stand

while Shirley rolls the body over making sure the eyes are closed.

Touches lips to the palm of her hand

to lay her kiss on the woman’s forehead .

– “No time for more.” She stands. Looks down the road – “We’ll follow.”

So we did.

Do We Have The Right 3 parts from Bella & Shirley by pd lyons


Is it right to hate them?

– We don’t need to hate them. We stop them. We put an end to it.

– Fear and suffering is twisted up in them.  They act as if they could get rid of it by giving it to someone else. As if torturing others will make them feel better. They must be stopped from doing this. We prevent them.

– Can we stop them?

– We will stop them. But not hate them. We’ll put them out of their own misery and stop the spreading of such misery.

Hate would only interfere with our efficiency.

c Mogan Lyons 2016

c Mogan Lyons 2016

Do We Have the Right?

She sat beside me on the bed

took my hand

between my legs

against my resistance

softened, looked me in the eye

and for the first time softly called me Bella.

Bella  trust me.

close your eyes

observe whatever you think

whatever you feel


no matter what relax.

do not try to control.

observe relax allow

and I wept like I never did in my life

like I knew I never would again

there in her arms clinging like I don’t know what.

when I could,  finally looked up at her.

she softly spoke

So Bella. Now. Do we have the right?

Yes i said

And you? Bella,do you have the right?

And I could only breathless whisper



I let her bring her mouth to mine

shared a breath as once more she whispered Bella

And with a kiss

lay me down into the luxury of a truly dreamless sleep.


yes what about love

Don’t need men.

What about children? – I joke

– (laughs) enough orphans in this world

– What about love?

– (silence) looks at me, leans towards me

eyes so black stops my breath

strokes my face with the back of her hand

warm strong dreamy

thoughtlessly I lean into it

something fine a silky electricity needles my spine


all I could do

was open my mouth

all I wanted to do was open my mouth

all I could do was all I wanted, 

to accept her own full mouth upon my own.

– ah she says, ah, yes; what- a-bout- love? syllable by syllable kisses until I no longer could count but only follow

Maybe if he cried, begged on his mother’s life, even just shut up. from Bella and Shirley by pd lyons


Pigs. Whores. Fucking pigs…

Maybe if he cried, begged on his mother’s life, even just shut up. But he stood there with his arms pinned behind him pants down around his ankles while the woman he had beaten; senseless on the floor and he called us pigs? Whores?


I pushed the knife up under the ribs like I was taught.

Some other half formed word of his contorted with a scream.

I was amazed how easily it wet in


I was amazed

How clear it all was

Notice so many small things

His teeth had color

His filthy khaki shirt stained in the shape of a flying bird

Thrashing hard against the ropes he brings me to. His contortions must have set him free.

But no.

Now, he whispers.

Now, he pleads.

Now, he prays –

to me.


But its Shirley I hear yelling – Pick it up! You missed. You fucking missed!

Then seriously quiet she says, -Do what I taught you. Remember.

And I did – Observe, Relax, Act.


So I pick up the knife

Observe every inch of him

Wet brown eyes

Buckling hairless knees

Shriveled genitals


This time,  slowly steadily with the knife search

Until a soft pop inside

A dwindling ah from his never to be heard again mouth

The last heat from his breath against my face

and then

the smell


pdlyonsphoto 2016

pdlyonsphoto 2016

so I become the Lady of the Rose, Bella part 2


(so I become the Lady of the Rose)

From then on I’d replicate that red rose wound

Between the legs of every man deserved it

When I could it’d be the death wound

When I couldn’t I’d still make the dead bloom

– No one would know the difference –

K Bar, shovel, bullet

Later people would begin to speak of it

Actually give the name I never gave myself

No not Bella

Never again Bella


Once more re named

I became the Lady of the blood red rose


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