“A Bell Buried Deep” is the title poem of Ms. Golos' book, A Bell Buried Deep, co-winner of the 16th Annual Nicholas Roerich Poetry Prize. The book is published by Story Line Press, and is available through the press and in local bookstores. Br>
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Contributor Notes

Veronica Golos Veronica Golos

A Bell Buried Deep

Feasting on the aftertaste,
I weaken first,
rise, stand at the window –
my pale skin flushed in the North Carolina light.
The old wood planks moan,
the white bedspread ripples like new snow,
our white sheets are the color of white beneath white –
and you, your brown skin against the sheet,
our marriage the color of syrup.

I lift my eyes and am chastened
by the angry heartbreak this world can bring.
The treetops are tender green –
and what is the color green but everything washed clean,
even the tiny, blue stone cemetery
where my son remains . . .
does not rise even after this, his eleventh year.
He is blue in the ground, his light-blue bones,
the midnight cap of his hair, his infant smell –
a bell buried deep, where he was in me,
ringing, ringing.

My god,
love making
can redeem
but does not release
pain! I do not forget
my periwinkle boy, my blue berry, my demon –
all his names in a world pulsing with names,
wild christenings in the air –
as the blue-green vein of my wrist beats,
the memory of him, our pale-boned boy,
drives me back to our bed
to touch you, his dark father,
with my grief full of tongues,
full with his name.

The Mother

My mother has gone quiet – a silence not of lack, or fear
or anger, but of a great attention – a leaning into.

She has left the language of populations,
consequence, variety – even the clamor

of need, she forgets. She smiles at the back and forth
of talk; the art of give and take.

She hears what’s underneath.
Child, she whispers, the sun splashes into the sea;
when the clouds shift, their touch
against the sky rustles
like silk touching thigh.

She is leaving this world.
Her listening is a kind of touch,

the way you’d feel along a wall – intent,
She fills and is filled – is glass, pitcher,
water flowing. She stands at the center
of endless concentric circles, at the navel
of the world, from which infinite lines emerge –

a hand through water,
making ripples . . .


Imagine Jesus without his name.
Imagine he has no reckoning of his own life,
but only the brilliant life of a diver,
or of a desert walker.
Imagine him Navajo.
In his restless walking, hemispheres and pinecones unfasten,
and the grass, viridescent, whispers and hushes
as the rusting fires of ancients relight.
Kneeling, he
pinches the sand; from between
his fingers, he releases an arc
of gold, black, red, blue: it becomes
a woman dancing,
her brown feet sparkling –
Towards the east is an open road:
He is drawn in, and then away –
becomes an open bell, knocking
against his own