From the Highest Towers

Digital illustration from a watercolor: Summer Stained GlassRinging In

Every time I hear them, I remember that first morning,

That moment in a narrow street when brightly, without warning,

The bells loosened their tongues to sing and raised their clarion voices

In that wild hymnody of joy at which my heart rejoices,

And now, wherever I may be, whatever is the weather

Or the occasion driving me, those voices joined together

Stop me, and make me raise my eyes while all the bells are ringing,

And search the gladness of the skies where Carillon is singing.Digital illustration from a watercolor: Springtime Stained Glass


What is this Song?

First the carillon, and then,

Voices of children, women, men,

The organ sounds, lute, harp and lyre,

And as the song grows clearer, higher,

Sweeter and more joyful still,

Ring out the notes from hill to hill,

Across the night, straight on to day,

The melody flies out, away!

What is this potent symphony?

It’s love, my Love, that sets us free.photoToday seems like a particularly good day to remember that love is larger than romance, peace is larger than a desire for sameness, and joy is larger than a moment of personal happiness. I wish you all love, peace and joy.

Hope, as Emily* has Said…

Welcome, 2014!

This may be the first time I’m posting anyone else’s writing on my blog, but don’t worry, I’ll start with my own poem. New Year’s Day is a good time to both do a new thing or two and affirm our traditions, so here goes. Happy New Year’s Day, all!photoOn Wide Wings

By the frigid light of morning, by the pale edge of the sky,

In the whispers of the gloaming waits a hawk that, by and by,

Stretches up his head and perches, keen eye searching on the lake,

Where the echo of the church’s bells call out: Awake! Awake!

Wings sweep wide, then, of a sudden, take him soaring to the heights

Where sunrise is turning golden, burnishing the hawk with lights

Bright as gilt, his feathers flashing as he darts across the chill-

Watered lake, and quickly splashing, snares a fish, and what was still,

Silent, peaceful, secret-keeping in the dark vault of the night,

All bursts from that quiet sleeping, with the hawk called by the light–

Now the day is fully opened, like a daffodil in spring,

Brought to bloom in joy and hope and shaded by the hawk’s wide wing–

As he soars and daylight blazes, my heart, too, begins to rise,

Knows how sweet this best of days is, that would raise me to the artwork from a photo* Emily Dickinson:


“Hope” is the thing with feathers—
That perches in the soul—
And sings the tune without the words—
And never stops—at all—

And sweetest—in the Gale—is heard—
And sore must be the storm—
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm—

I’ve heard it in the chillest land—
And on the strangest Sea—
Yet, never, in Extremity,
It asked a crumb—of Me.


photoOn the Hour

I hear a distant clamoring, that clear and golden hammering,

the calling so enamoring me of this hour of day,

That chorus of the chiming bells change-ringing, as their music swells

until no other parallels the news they swing to say,photo‘Til every other sound should cease as swiftly as the bells increase,

work stop, hopes rise, hearts fill with peace; the ringing calls that soon

The echo of its chimes will fall where it sang out from wall to wall

in waves of life over us all to tell us it is noon–photoNo wonder, in this ringing sphere of tonal loveliness I hear,

I sense a sweetness drawing near and beckoning to me

To join the clangor of the song, to strike at every chime and gong

and bell, that each must sing along and set the midday free–photoRing every bronze and silver note, ring brass and gold, and keep afloat

all of earth’s joy–the antidote to death is in this tune–

Ring happiness, ring love and peace; ring out the hour of sweet release;

ring the refrain of this caprice until another noon!

Carol on, Carillon

digital artwork from a photoBells Rung a Little Prematurely

Bats of old Belvedere flew out and in

Of the belfry Hieronymus tended

Til they drove him quite crazy, so is it a sin

That he swung ere the service was ended?photos