The Bell

This is one of the oldest poems that I’ve written.  It was written in June 1990, when I was 14.  I remember asking my English teacher to read it one day at the end of class.  I waiting patiently beside her desk for her to read it.   Her feedback was carefully worded ambiguity, which even then struck me as comical.  She never said didn’t come out and say that she didn’t like it or that it wasn’t good for a middle school kid playing around with words.  She just acted like she didn’t really want to talk about it.  It’s gone through a few revisions since then, but I’ve tried to keep it as close to the original as my own self-criticism will allow.


The clock, I hear it ticking
The inner gears turning, clicking
But wait, Shhh—
There it is again,
Another one dead.

The hollow chiming
Rings above the city
Carried by the cold wind.
We cringe

And there is silence
Except for the grief-swollen peal
of sad echoes,
At the sound of—

There it is again,
Unwelcome sound and a name
Like the whisper of the wind
In the bone rattle of leaves.

Another ring,
The tone never falters
The wind has spoken the name of the one
Oh, I believe it was mine.



Filed under Poetry

7 responses to “The Bell

  1. Olivia Stocum

    This brings back memories. I remember sitting in class feeling the same exact way. AND I remember the ambiguous comments from teachers, friends and family, leaving me wondering if I was any good or not! Thanks for sharing.


  2. Olivia Stocum

    Reblogged this on The Claymore and Surcoat and commented:
    It’s poetry time!!! Enjoy. Hugs, Olivia


  3. Kimberly

    I believe this is a lovely piece of writing. It can be interpreted in so many ways. I have enjoyed it immensely.


  4. The problem with teachers as critics? They have no incentive to either praise or be critical. The system is designed for the middle of the road behavior. Anything else could cause waves.


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