Eddie Roa

(June 22,1942 / Manila. Philippines)

Bells of Barangay San Jose


The Bells of Barangay San Jose

The bells of Barangay San Jose
Rang against the din of the windblown rain
Struck from bell towers from four directions
The wet July weather deadened the tolling
Unable to reverberate in the thick as soup fog
Eager acolytes swinging on strong bell ropes
Coaxing the brass cones to clang out loud

The bells furiously called out the faithful at dawn
Loud summons to attend the eucharistic celebration
Nuns in white with colorful umbrellas stepped lively,
Matrons with missals tucked in braided belts
Waddled through the half opened seminary doors
Rosary beads dangling, in quickened half steps
Hurrying before the wet fog turns to cold rain

A blessed Sunday morning in Barangay San Jose
My love and I eavesdropped on the early birdsong
Of hummingbirds atwitter on newly wakened yellow bells
And red mayas chattering on undulating cogon blades
The mellifluous sounds blending with the suffused peal
Of brass bells hardly heard above the foggy veil
An orderly chaos of diverse sounds melding in symphony

We paused at our wooden gate to listen to the concert
Disregarding the urgency of the muted ringing of bells
A grand performance fit for kings was being played out
At my very gate, heavenly sounds filling a misty morn
All of a sudden a wave of baritone voices broke in song
A robust Gregorian chant rode the fog within hearing
The mass had started and to church we had to rush

Submitted: Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Edited: Monday, April 26, 2010

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