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‘Valencian Bell in a time of Covid’ by Marion O’Toole


Valencian Bell in a time of Covid


In this time of Covid

a covering lay heavy


on our shoulders.

So I travelled on the ringing of a bell.


This song is for you

who never get to sing,


your bell un-swung,

sitting in its green nook


on a kitchen shelf. Your crooked,

cracked glazing,


and a haze of dust

disguising your magnificence.


I recall the scent of jasmine

as I wandered through


your narrow streets

of ceramic tiles,


the domino smiles

that caused a lingering.


Here I cupped you in my hands

like a small bird,


calling out ‘here you were’,

moulded by young and hungry hands,


the strands of your hair tied tightly,

your bell dress


shaped and draped in centuries,

the spinning and turning of the potter’s wheel.


My amiga Rosa took me

on her wing, welcoming,


and I flew in her slip stream

through white-washed streets,


a kaleidoscope of hope

in colours of bougainvillaea.


This is my song for you

who cannot sing,


of the falling river

that winds around that very spot,


in the heart of Sot De Chera,

where mingling mothers meet,


slowly washing their bright clothes,

whispering low. Across the bridge,


up the cobbled corners of the Arabic square,

rings the Sunday summoning,


a gathering of table and chairs,

a cacophony of villagers singing joy


to pans of paella arriving,

filled with snails


and a trail that takes me from the city

to the scent of summer saffron.


This is a song for you

who never get to sing.


One day I will bring you



Marion O’ Toole

Short Bio

I have written and loved poetry for many years privately, I am a mature student and taking advantage of this slow time to learn about this wonderful craft. A hairdresser by trade, also involved in Community Performing Arts, I am enjoying this new world of discovery.


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