George Moore

The Bell

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.

George Moore has held artist residencies in Canada, Greece, Portugal, Spain and Iceland, and collaborated on works with artists from Austria, Iceland, and Canada. His poetry has appeared in The Atlantic, Poetry, Queen's Quarterly, Antigonish Review, Dublin Quarterly, North American Review, Colorado Review, Orion, and Blast.  In 2009, he was nominated for two Pushcart Prizes and two "Best of the Web" awards, and in 2010 for The Rhysling Poetry Award.  His recent collections include Headhunting (Mellen, 2002) and the e-Book, All Night Card Game in the Back Room of Time (, 2007).  Moore teaches writing and literature at the University of Colorado, Boulder.  



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