Toll

Toll.
Bright tolls that hideous bell,
varnished edges biting at the collarbone,
unprotected by the cheap white shirt,
damp from the last wearing of the cassock,
burning incense from the dark interior,
lacquer from the brass handles,
cloying and heavy in the heat,
last night’s fighting as raw,
as the nervous marks on my left wrist,
oh to be back in that quilted bedroom,
singing lullabies to the fretful child,
while Nelly drank whiskey in the orange light,
of the ancient open Aga next door,
rather than face this daylight,
the final drive through the crossroads,
the tearing of the good black earth,
and yet more bells ringing out,
each wave ready to shatter me,
wash me off trembling feet,
throw me down in there as well,
into the maw, into the line of strangers,
then turning with dry cheeks,
hastily departing in awkward silence,
seven years without a teardrop,
ten more without a stone.

by Ruairí de Barra

This poem appears in the wonderful new book by Peter Walsh, titled ‘Rantology: Lest We Rest On Our Laurels.’

Peter was kind enough to invite some of his friends to contribute to his book, and I think it just highlights what a decent guy he truly is.

He is also a truly talented poet, and if anyone of you who read this are looking for a great book of poetry this Xmas 2020 or at anytime in the future, then look no further!

You can find Peter on Facebook here.

And you can purchase ‘Rantology’ here.

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