Wednesday, March 2, 2016

The Bells (poem)

By Tracy

The Bells

... the silence, wanly prinkt 

with forms of lingering notes            
Christopher Brennan

In Germany, there appear to have been few

instances of overt resistance to the [Nazi]
confiscation of church bells. Kirrily Freeman

I tilt the window
and they pour in here
cascading, swallowing
till I can’t separate
sacred from secular –
how could it matter?
More than a marker
of time or collection
sanctus or death-knell
barely an interval
they take possession
with body and tongue.
Once they were named as
metallic resources.
Churches flew swastikas.
You can see photos
of the bell-graveyards
thousands awaiting
recasting for service
from all over Europe.
Now in Tübingen
they ring out in order:
some are survivors,
missed requisition
by virtue of heritage –
others too recent
to carry that weight.

Tracy Ryan

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