The Bells! (Arizona Courts Side With Neighbors, Silence Church)


Hear the churches with the bells
Recorded bells!
What a load of excrement their melody fortells!
How they started up one morning
As the neighbors tried to sleep!
With an utter lack of warning
And no beauty there adorning—
A recording! Clearly cheap!
Crying, “Hear, hear, hear!”
To the folks who live too near
To the audio recoding that malevolently wells
From the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells—
From the Christ the King Cathedral and its bells.


Hear the neighbors’ busy bells—
Telephone bells!
Hear the litigation their cacophony foretells!
Though the effort was a waste,
Hear them speak to their distaste,
To the Bishop of the church
And to the cops;
As for quietude they search,
Though the heavenly loudspeaker on its perch
Never stops!
At annoyance it excels!
Nearly causing epileptic seizing spells!
How it swells!
How it smells
Like dead Fish! It compels
The neighbors to hotels,
From the staying there and playing
Of the bells, bells, bells,
Of the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells—
From the taping, no escaping from the bells!


Hear the loud, disgruntled bells—
Bishop’s bells!
What a tale of persecution, Here where Jesus dwells!
In the sermons every week
An exemption’s what they seek!
Special treatment for their acts
For the facts are not the facts
In this case!
In a clamorous appealing to the mercy of the court
In a mad expostulation, even prayer as last resort!
Digging lower, lower, lower,
Though it’s louder than a mower,
And the senses it’s assaulting,
More annoying than exalting
To the neighbors they have to face!
Oh, the bells, bells, bells!
What a tale the Bishop tells
Of despair!
Hear him brattle, bleat, and roar
Till his vocal cords are sore!
As he’s breathing in the sacrilegious air!
Yet the congregation’s ears
Filled with twanging
And with clanging
Will ignore the neighbor’s fears!
Yes, the congregation stays
With the jangling
And the wrangling,
And no mercy it displays,
For the begging and the pleading of the neighbors to the bells
Of the bells,
Of the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells—
To the painful and disdainful Christian bells!


Hear the judgment of the bells—
Judicial bells!
With the judgment of a Solomon, their legal might compels!
The opinion of the court
Now, the Bishop’s will, will thwart,
With legitimate authority to bear!
In every case they see
They require you and me
To be fair
And the people—ah, the people—
Like the Bishop with his steeple—
See him there!
See him twisting and denying
With his sanctified hot air
Parsing words that border lying
They are neither true nor holy
They lie partially or fully
All to fools!
And his church it is that tolls,
His recording, there, that rolls
Annoyance from the bells!
And the Bishop fairly swells
From the pride of ringing bells!
At the pulpit, now he yells;
Wasting time, time, time
Now convicted of a crime
For the ringing of the bells
Of the bells—
Wasting time, time time
Now convicted of a crime
For the tolling of the bells,
Of the bells, bells, bells—
For recordings of his bells,
Wasting time, time, time,
And the bells, bells, bells,
Which he sullied with his crime,
In the playing of the bells,
Of the bells, bells, bells—
For the blasting of the bells,
Of the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells—
For the playing of the tape-recorded bells.

With humble and sincere apologies to Edgar Allan Poe.



  1. says

    Fantastic! I now hear that poem set to the music of Matt Conner, by the way. From his musical, Nevermore, which uses Poe's words. Gave me a shiver when you included "time, time, time", it did. Wish I could point you to a recording, but there aren't any commercially available. It really makes clear how lyric-y Poe's writing is.

  2. says

    Before you, Cuttlefish, Poe was one of the few poets I really enjoyed reading.Now I'm just not sure how you're going to manage to outdo yourself.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *