The bridge glows a subdued orange

Our whispers echo from its walls

If I could master all the bells

I’d backpedal to one hour ago.


An opened coffin completes the corridor

And time totters us to it

As if the cuckoo urged us on

Or hurled us through the air toward it.


Oh perfect minute, perfect night

Her presence stopped departing

One flesh one God one hope one life

And still the bells keep chiming.


Footsteps on the sidewalk rhymed

To the cuckoo’s perfect time

The effulgence placed within us lived

And now we strain to master time.


Many tried to part the chord

The umbilical between us;

That vein flows openly today

No one on earth shall cleave us.


The ‘Song,’ what should I play

To close the gap between us?

Just this – The cuckoo’s keeping perfect time

And I’m the master of the bells.

Donald Standeford

5 thoughts on “Master of the Bells

  1. Wow, another lovely poem of yours, Donald! Love already its title alone with the human wish to control time… Very beautifully written and emotionally intense. I like how you play with time, one of humanity’s worst enemies, and emotions. As a regular bike rider I so love this:

    “If I could master all the bells
    I’d backpedal to one hour ago.”

    The second stanza increases the emotional vibrancy with the “opened coffin” in the corridor and the passing of time being vital. The third stanza provides a beautiful message of hope, but with still the threat of time that continues in the fourth stanza. I think the fifth stanza reaches the poem’s climax with bond that cannot be broken. The image with the umbilical chord and the vein flowing openly is very powerful. And the last stanza provides a perfect ending returning to the beginning with the master of the bells.

    I have enjoyed this poem very much. One of my favorites, no doubt.

    Liked by 1 person

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