Disturbing the Peace – a poem by Viv Longley

Disturbing the Peace

There is a silence.
A curlew’s shriek shivers the air.
Flocked sparrows bustle from the hedge
falling on the arcs of grain where the trailer turned,
corn stalks clack as a breeze lifts the skirts of the fields. 

A man approaches.
The slap of his sandals making puddles of sound.
Muscles wired, he climbs the bell tower,
cutting through the angled sun hazing the cornered dust.

The sally falls like a liana, twisting before resting.
Hands held in a pistol grip he rings the bell up,
pauses, and then makes a leisured pull,
leathered hands relaxing as the rope careers through his grasp.

The bell speaks.

Thunder plunges down the tower,
storming into God’s Acre.
The stones flinch as the song punches the deep air.

His skin prickles, veins bulged and blue.
He reaches up
to pull again and 
tell of harvest home.

Viv Longley has been writing for her own pleasure since she was a child.  Later in life she undertook an MA in Creative Writing at The Open University, specialising in poetry. As well as having one collection (Tally Sheet, Currock Press, 2021) she is undertaking a number of collaborative publications.  Notably, Daughters of Thyme (available from Daughters of Thyme imprint from November, 2022). She is also preparing a second collection of her own and a number of essays – the latter to be called I am in a Hurry. ‘Now nearing my 80’s, you just never know how much time you have left!’

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