william mcgreal

The Moth and the Bell

The Moth and the Bell

We stare at the bell,
no longer counting
the time until the car
will take us back
to the hotel. Earlier a monk 
had said his prayers at dawn 

but now there is only a moth 
meditating on its equator until 
it flies away, leaving not even 
a shadow of purpose on the 
smooth surface.

From out of our silence you
know that you are the
moth, delicate wings lifting
like the pages of a book
rediscovered, the words  
faded but the story still
humming like the bell
long after the priest has swung
the beam and finished
his morning prayer.

I am not the bell.
I am not the priest.
I am the morning air
that carries the song
of the bell and then
carries the moth from
flower to flower, it’s
happiness the sweetest
prayer of all.

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