“The Bells” By James Miller

Friday, prayer time in Bangalore: the call
crackles on the heat,

and my thali’s squeezed out
like little piles
of unwashed toes.  Bells
are ringing

in my tail-bone—seven sharings in
Shravanabelagola.  Seven

in Belur.
and seven on the train overnight
from Gorakhpur.

No sleep in the berth, this time.
The bells
are still at it, and I’m hoping
that my Methodist

childhood

will shut them down.

I sat in the pews and studied
the neighbor’s daughter, seven Sundayed and ready
to ring:

Not much to hear in the striking
of clapper
to mouth.  Altar damp,
palm sap and sweat
all gone to Goan ground.


James Miller is a native of Houston, Texas, though he has spent time in the American Midwest, Europe, China, South America and India.  He has published poetry in Riversedge, the Houston Poetry Fest 2016, Sweet Tree Review, Lullwater Review, Cold Mountain Review (forthcoming), Boston Accent (forthcoming), and Plainsongs (forthcoming).

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3 thoughts on ““The Bells” By James Miller

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