The Six Bells

I recently submitted a poem to an Ekphrastic poetry contest and received an honorable mention. I was very happy with this as there were some amazing poems entered in the competition. I don’t consider myself a poet and this was the first time I had tried anything like this.

An Ekphrastic poem is a poem that vividly describes a work of art using imagination to expand on its meaning. I attended a photography exhibition and was especially struck by the atmospheric photo shown here. It inspired me to write the following poem. I hope you enjoy it.

Terence Thomas photograph – The Six Bells

The Six Bells by Sharon Bazant

Darkness descends early 
in January. 
Overcast, no moon,
Streets shrouded in 
shadowless mystery. 
“Take Molly out dear,”
he says. 
I can walk, he can’t.

Molly and I scurry along
in the penetrating chill. 
Blustery blackness,
A taste of mist.
Up ahead a streetlamp
casts a circle of light. 
We bask there for a moment.

I turn.
A buttery glow
spills from a window.
Our ancient pub, The Six Bells. 
Not for us anymore.
Old folks like us stay home.

An image emerges 
through the rippled panes.
Young lovers touch, 
Stars in their eyes.
Life courses through them. 
Fish and chips half-eaten,
Their hunger only for each other.

I hurry home, breathless. 
Molly rushes past me.
He is asleep by the fire. 
I lay my cheek on the warmth of his forehead. 
I whisper,
“Let’s go for fish and chips at The Six Bells,
maybe in the spring.”
A tear rolls down his cheek. 

Six bells are for a sailor’s watch.
Six bells ring in the church belfry. 
Tonight those six bells echo for the lovers.
Six decades later.