For the earthweal solstice bell challenge.
No bells rang here to break up the cloud
with silver sound, the echoing notes
of rivers flowing beneath earth and rock,
weaving veined chords from then
to now and beyond.
Sky squatted dark and heavy-jowled on the hill,
swallowed moon and stars, and how will we know
the time, how measure this great darkness,
how know when it has ended?
No bells rang to summon or alarm,
but the hart, sharp-hoofed, ran about the house
across the weeping grass and leapt the ditch.
Fox slipped through a fox hole, while the rain fell
cold as an empty seat in an empty house.
No bells rang here, no call to bow the head,
only the bull-bellow of the wind
that marks the turning of the world from dark
to light, and whether tomorrow comes bright
or grey as the pits of the sea,
the robin will sing in a poplar tree.
24 thoughts on “Winter chimes”
The year will turn the seasons will change but life goes on the same .
It does for most things. We’re the only ones who get to choose what happens next, to an extent.
Yes indeed 💜
Good addition to the very interesting poem, Willow! Merry Christmas to you too! Michael
Happy Christmas Michael,💜💜💜
Happy Christmas to you too, Willow. Enjoy the silence of these days!
I was anticipating your words with my thoughts about the robins! That is my lasting image of my first walks out after quarantine…robins and robins and more robins. They will certainly return. I hope the world is as welcoming. (K)
They are singing their hearts out at the moment. I’m glad yours are too. I hope we just carrying on noticing them. It’s when somebody decides, oh, robins, they’re completely unnecessary, that I shall give up.
That would be a sad day.
That was me, as well! All the birds singing and no people about.
Literal solstice would have sudden bells clamoring a return of light — I suppose we have Christmas for that — but the heart listens and sees more subtly and it can find welcome even where it is “cold as an empty seat in an empty house.” The knowledge of hope is I suppose is the thinking heart, that solstice affirmation that “whether tomorrow comes bright / or grey as the pits of the sea, / the robin will sing in a poplar tree.”
The robin singing is enough for me. The rest of it has lost its meaning. If it ever had much for modern people.
Nature goes on. I like the images of hart, fox, and the bull-bellow of the wind. We’re starting to get a whole herd–more like buffalo perhaps.
Stay safe and have a lovely day. It’s Christmas here, and very quiet 🙂
Enjoy the peace. 😀
I was, until husband put something strange on the radio in the kitchen…
uh oh! 😀
He picks up CDs that he ‘thinks’ he recognises. Until we listen to them. He bought a two record set of Josephine Baker because he thought he ‘knew’ Josephine Baker, same style as Nina Simone. He was wrong.
Hahahaha. My husband used to buy albums that we called “headphone music,” back when we actually played albums.
Did he know what he was buying though? Or was it just a similar sounding name? I suppose you can get pleasant surprises too 🙂
I think my husband chose these things deliberately. Just not music I liked. 😏
I love your note of hope at the end, however tenuous. And that ‘bull-bellow of the wind’ is so sonorous!
Thanks Ingrid. We have to have a shred of hope even when it seems ridiculous. The Titanic spirit 🙂