Posts Tagged ‘bells’

Relative Key

I paid extra for the bell
with a beautiful sound,
knowing we would ring it
one hundred and eight times
on the anniversary of your death.
I wanted it to be beautiful.
I wanted to play a sound
that would reach
to wherever you are
and offer you peace.
There are bells that ring
danger or failure or shame,
bells that clang with dissonance,
bells that toll only melancholy.
I have heard those bells.
But for you, my boy,
the bell we rang for you
pealed with a brilliant, shining ring,
a rousing chiming,
a surprising harmony
that opened the evening
with new light,
a ringing that rhymed
with new colors I’ve found in my heart—
the shimmering blue of enduring hope,
the glimmering gold of companioning.
I could still hear the blue
and the resonant gold
long after the bell stopped ringing.

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Suddenly everything is bell.

The bright clang of the spoon

stirring in the metal pot.

The scraping black note of crow.

Creak in the porch board

as I step into shadow.

Horn of a passing car.

What isn’t a call to attention?

Horse whinny. Airplane hum.

Dishwasher whirr. What

isn’t a bell to wake us up,

remind us to bring our attention

here. Whisper of leaves.

Squeak of the door hinge.

The small sigh escaping our lips.

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while the bells of the heart

clamor and clang,

catching a ride on the clapper

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6:15 a.m.




All night I waited for the sound of bells to wake me.

I waited so long I wondered if they had been rung

but I had not heard. I wondered if I had forgotten


what bells sounded like. I wondered if the ringer of bells

had overslept and I should go wake her or rise

and ring the bells myself. And when at last the bells


were swung and charged the air of the halls

with their bright brass song, I laughed out loud in the dark,

amazed I could believe I’d forgotten the sound of bells.


What else do I think I’ve forgotten that is so wholly present here?

Some sense of purpose? Some sense of communion?

Some understanding of what it means to love?


What if these things are clear, clear as the sound

of bells? Oh fool who waits and waits for something

to appear. Is it possible whatever your waiting for is here?

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Here is the heart

asking the bells to be quiet

so that it might hear

its own beating.


Here is the blind man

who climbs the mountain

by listening to the song of bells

worn by the guide in front of him.

The path is getting steeper.

Oh heart, there’s no reason

to pretend you’re alone.

We’re all wearing bells

for each other. We all

need a song to follow.

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The bells are lost, the bells
are lost, oh Lorca, the bells,
the bells are lost. Let us
make of our bodies, then, the bells
that chime of old green fruit
and cinder and the raven’s yellow
eye. Let us be the bells that clang
for the clouds that can
travel across any sky, let us
be the bells that ding love,
love, love, oh Lorca, here,
hear the bells? Spiraling
ding and listen, oh bing,
let us dance then, oh ohm
the poets are come, oh awe.

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