Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Bells and bolts

In the Steeple

The churchbell lodged in ancient timbers

In the steeple

Rung by rope knotted into a gigantic wooden pulley wheel

- mechanical advantage -

Strung down through air and pigeon leavings

Emerging in the vestibule

- A strong Sunday-dressed child can ring it -

Doves lodged in ancient timbers

Flutter in and out through louvers

Chicken-wired but time-worn

Keeping their high watches over the town

From coved and linteled archways

Cooing mildly

Feather-cuddling silent

Generations of doves nestled

In sanctuary at this height

Lived with the sleeping giant

Awakened only on Sunday mornings to summon

The attention of the worshipers gathered below

An under-used instrument

Calling not because of fire, death,

Disaster or rebellion

Struck in a foreign foundry over a century ago

Freighted to this town to be hoisted aloft

And rung sedately by Congregationalists

A ton of bronze lodged in ancient timbers

With peaceful quiet doves

Might be sounding greater attentions

in times like these

Might be rung in shifts 24 hours a day

With all bells everywhere

Across the world ringing out;

our own ton of bronze

With thousands more might speak out

In mad clamor to the heavens

Our ancient clanging

dusty megaphone

Oiled for Sunday use only

Treasured mighty bell

Voice above us though out of our sight;

The news from

God’s Earth

makes one think you should be rung

Until consciousness is lost

And then spelled by another ringer

And another…..



Photo of steeple taken 11-7-11 from the roof of the municipal parking structure, downtown South Street across from the old post office, or Rotunda now.

A stained glass hanging done by Bob and Dee Heeschen of St Paul MN is in a front 3rd floor window at the Odd Fellows. The design is the YIBAWEan Society emblem. YIBAWEans being a loosely-haired organized consortium of bald men and women who believe there are other things to know about them beyond their glistening pates. YIBAWE, some readers will know, stands for Yes, I'm Bald. And What Else?

The motif is a Tao bisected by a lightning bolt.

The design shows up elsewhere within the Society. Ex.:

Glass artist Bob Heeschen (Special Agent) served with the editor in the US Army 113th CIC* Group in Chicago from 1958 through 1961. He will be visiting at the Odd Fellows on Nov. 17th. Army buddies; still in touch.

*Counter Intelligence Corps