The Innisfree Poetry Journal
by George Moore
That sharp iron sound from around
the horse’s neck, constant clang, does
not let out notes but rather rolls into
a long jangle, metal banging metal,
the bell’s distinct penetration of morning.
Cow bells, each unique, mark a space
the animal creates on the orchards of the Alentejo.
Sound is space, gives each a name, a ring
that allows them never to be lost, nor lose
their way amid campina of cork oak and olive.
The brass bell gently swaying says this
noise, not intrusive but a mark in time
and place, centers the steel sphere of history,
pitching side to side as horse head bows
to eat a mouth of grass, shake its mane,
and ignore what it has come to know
as its own echo, a symbol of life
timed by the strike of the wooden clapper
in the harbor of its ear, voiceless and steady.
Even the birds are silent, everything listening.
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