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The sage bell pealed like a blood orange
Spilled its flesh and soul
Across the floodplain
Like a swollen river
Whose banks have grown weary of emotion
Worn tired of holding back the waters
And cried its plaintive song to the evening air
Tangled man and woman and child
Carried low on destiny’s blackened wing
Strode to its beat
Like a nomad herd in search of water
Bending heads in wishful anticipation
Rain-soaked reeds their ears brushed by the swell
Of benign currents
Seduced still by paradise promise
Footsteps faithful from doorway to altar
Led onward ever by invisible hand
And words that fall from better lips
Which scatter their kisses like frozen petals
Whose muted hues lend pastel to the sky
Brush soft against the life-stained face
Then vanish like winter breath
And as the toll with hypnotic voice
Rises to eclipse the dying sun
The wash laps at their feet once more
As slow they march on.