{An Umbrella Special Feature}

Ray Pospisil (1953-2008)

worked as an energy and environmental journalist for publishers such as Fairchild and McGraw-Hill.

His poems appeared in The Lyric, The Chimaera, The Newport Review, and other journals.

He is the author of the chapbook Some Time Before the Bell (Modern Metrics, 2006) and the posthumously published full-length collection The Bell, published by Seven Towers in 2009.

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The Bell

The heavy, leaden clanging of the bell across
the street awoke me Sunday morning. Late for me
to wake at nine. It must have been the week of twelve
and fifteen-hour days at the computer catching
up with me. The single leaden bell continued
thudding heavy strokes which barely rang above
a certain metal register, a bit below
which would have sunk the striking to the level of
construction noise, which also can be rhythmical.
I wondered, as I lingered in my bed alone,
if bells have just a finite life of rings, a certain
number, with a steady dissipation of
their brightness. And I wondered where the brightness goes.
Perhaps in years it works into our bones and nerves
with every bell vibration shaking over us,
we carry it, we carry it, we carry it.


[Originally published in The Bell (Seven Towers, 2009).]