Thursday, August 7, 2014


Peace Bell at Hiroshima.
Flicker Photo

There's a monk in Tibet sitting
in silence, broken
by the faint chime of a bell,
redirecting mind to the flow of his breath.
Rebellious thoughts repeat, repeat.

In Italy, an old woman kneels before lit candles
mouthing holy words learned in rote, ingrained
in her intentions for a different world
after she dies.
The clanging of bells startle her, like bombs.

A Navajo young man in New Mexico, returned from Afghanistan,
sits trembling in a sweat lodge, hoping
his spirit ancestors obliterate recurring flashes of trauma.
In the distance a church bell, swayed by the wind,
passively rings.

A man in New York rushes by a storefront.
TV transmits the news. He slows down a little,
catches a glimpse.  He tisks, frowns, sighs
an unspoken prayer
though there's no god he believes.
His phone pings.

Anywhere, a high school student confused, tormented,
by myopic mind of bleak thoughts sits quietly
deciding - organize a protest? or kill the bunch.
The school bell rings.

We're all somewhere,
living different stages of grief,
not wanting to reach the level of acceptance,
just peace.
May its bell loudly resound!

(Submitted to Poets United)


  1. nice...we are all somewhere along the continuum of grief....i like how you gave us little glimpses into each of these lives....and yes, i think we all want a bit of peace...

  2. I love your approach to this prompt - so unique...makes us feel unified although miles apart

  3. no better sound than the bells of freedom and peace... i love how bells make us listen is what they want to convey... we still have church bells in our town that ring on a sunday or for a funeral or wedding.... it's a comforting sound to me

  4. How wonderful in progress from place to place and person to person, each little vignette showing connection throughout the world. The tone is prayerful, the result is a bell that rings for me too. Thank you, Myrna. Such a moving poem.

  5. This poem rings in my heart. Thank you.

  6. Very nice. I like the call to move.

  7. This is wonderfully done! Taken together, these vignettes create a picture of a world in need of peace.

  8. Wow;. How did I miss this one? Fantastic! I loved all the different perspectives. May that peace bell ring.....we need it.