The Church Bells

by Chris Graves

the church bells, temple bells, dinner bells, and funeral bells all sermon the wind, river psalm the cracked clavicle and clarinet of voice never networking. the world follows the drip drip drip of stars, dreams into porous pull, and iconic phases of the clanging moon. the moon dangles its light into the upturned bell. set for repair the sound is always on even when no one is there to hear it. i hear the bell wailing to be part of the cricket orchestra and thick blanket of night voices architecting the psalm air. everywhere the bells waylay the traveling ears. high pitched enslaving clangs, and low timbres make the windows tremble. even hotels shake from the force of the temple bells. the ground comes out from under you.

Chris Graves

Chris Graves is originally from Halifax, Canada. Though he’s always written poetry he is only now emerging to seek publication. He recently published haiku in Japan, Canada and the UK. He has also written columns for the Ontario Library Association, articles for the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, and non-fiction work for Cultural Geography.

artist: micheal keck





2 responses to “The Church Bells”

  1. Troy Forbes Avatar
    Troy Forbes

    A lovely piece, Chris.

    This seems the most deliberately sonorous of your poems that I’ve read,, and reads much faster than the others too (yet still meditative in its effect.). The prose poem structure works nicely to achieve both of these aims.

    I was particularly struck by the section with moon imagery. I’d never thought of the moon as “clanging”, but that really works; The contrast of bright moon and dark sky suggests similar sonic contrasts. I can imagine the lunar cycles seen as though speeding by, with the sweeping shadow across its face reminiscent of the underside of a tolling bell (albeit a spinning bell, not a swinging one.) The poem also reminded me of times when I noticed that sounds seemed to travel differently through nighttime air.

    I think that the final sentence nicely adds brakes to the sliding momentum of this poem. A sudden shift into flight or possibly into collapse; A moment of uncertain weightlessness. Ringing ears.

    I’m looking forward to reading more of your writing!

  2. Kent Laforme Avatar

    Nice work Chris. I love the opening 14 words as I felt fully immersed from the beginning of the prose poem. Thanks for sharing. It’s always wonderful to read your writings whether they’re emails, poems, prose or meditations.

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