The Bell House


A misty creak, one two, one two; the village-hand beguiling,
The bell house rocks, its tongues askew, upon my Commodore-
With hearty grin, a single ort be laid upon his cherry chin,
As twinkle do the stars upon his brazen coat, and bore-
Are his days, and unto me he clamber his disuse and cause;
Timid is his sickly grin, my beloved Commodore.

Trickle, trickle does the rain- a fickle mistress true; when
One opens up the latch, of bell houses rusty pallid door,
My Master waiteth, crumpled rough upon the wooden flaxen,
And beckons myself over, with his marbled, bitten four-
Fingers gleaming, whet with dew of foggy mornings call;
Blessed are the fingers of my beloved Commodore.

Ravens' wroth doth creak and skew- the evening air bethicken,
The stones the bell house stack askew, shed light unto his four-
Ever was his beauty lit, alas the time hast wrinkled it-
His beauty became naught but the shadows on the floor;
“Be it beast or man betrayed?” to my temple finger rose-
To my temple finger rose, for my beloved Commodore.

He beckon me and bade me, his command of mien betrayed me-
My sleepless eyes of nights alight, by candles burnt by chore;
Sitting brambly, sitting stern upon the moistened flaxen plank,
My beloved Master cast his shadows on the frosted, whetted door;
Ponder I of mode unsure, of sitting blackly - nothing more;
My fingers doubted faithful, my beloved Commodore.

Sitting grim upon his fingers, a single coin he rolled and threw-
A dusty relic- killed by cold, and man's dishonest reddish core,
Tumble tumble, drop and clickle upon his knuckles, the silver disc,
Fated man hast suffered, the toss and spin on granite floor,
Embers flew and flocked the chair, casting cinders, evermore;
Laughing in the lamplight, my beloved Commodore.

Tap and tap, behind me heard, a softly rapping at the pane;
“Tis' the wind!” with hearty cheer, my Master raised his knarly paw,
Drop and clink the coin befell, and rolled before my wasted feet,
Drop and clink the dusty coin laid bare unto the floor;
Headless facing the silver piece, of origin unsure,
Abandoned him, my Master- my beloved Commodore.

Three four, three four, the bell struck- its acme- ever shrill;
And grazed upon the powdered sky, of hands' unsteady lore-
With a crack, the rapping grew, and tumbled through the window,
Of flaxen, frost, and wetted wood the bell rumbled as before,
Cackle did the raven, as it beat upon the door;
And laugh he did, my Master- my beloved Commodore.

Pick up the piece of silver, with unsteady hand did I,
And thrust into the hand of my laughing Masters paw;
Tickled by his breath, he breathed- he breathed forever still,
The name of the raven, flapping- ever flapping at the door;
The name of the raven, flapping- tapping at the door,
“A Raven?” quaffed the voice of my beloved Commodore.

Ply with ale his voice- in a delicious amber hue,
He shrieked and smiled at me, in his most rustic ardour;-
“A Raven no, dear-heart, listen as I implore; that rapping-
tapping, flapping that strikes upon the door--
is none other than my love! My beloved, I adore!”
He smiled and sipped his ale, did my beloved Commodore.

“Your love?” I sighed and struck the tempered granite wall-
My fists felt cold against the stone, that I could not ignore;
The beating ticked upon the pane, and then unto the ground,
Thrust open did the windowpane, and through the square did pour,
The rasping sound of shadows, as they tickled at the door-
Tickled shrilly did they, towards my Commodore.

“Ah, my love! How long have I been bitten by the cold?”
He rose his hands before the shadow, as it swept along the floor;
“Too long have I waited, in this rusted bell house cage-
my hands be bit and suffered, Love, repeat I shall once more;
Await hast I for you my Love, the one that I adore.”
Await did he, await; my beloved Commodore.

A maddened crutch did take me, and fix me to the spot,
Thunder rose and pounded at the sky as it had before;
Five six, five six, the bell did toll- rolling in the sky,
And under feet of Master did, the shadows lick the floor-
Lick and lap at the feet of my Masters form once more;
Unsteady were the eyes of my beloved Commodore.

Unseen to me this phantom, this villain of the gloom,
Had stricken at the heart of my Masters sickly core;
He stroked the thing, invisible unto my waking eyes,
His shoulders broad did heavy sigh, and out his shoddy four-
Fingers reached toward the coin, now cast upon the floor;
Reach and stretch did the fingers, of my Commodore.

Transfixed I stood, unsteady still to the beatings of the wind,
The bell house shook with bitterness from the windy Western shore-
The twilight stricken pebbles- like a thicket in the heavens,
Were once the home of he, the man crumpled- talking to the floor,
Crumpled, maddened, laughing- at the shadows on the floor;
He did this and nothing less; my beloved Commodore.

Scoff I might at night-times, experienced as such:
That my Master left his mind, at that crumbled bell house door;
Flutter fully, did his folly- and rose slinking in the sky,
His sanity as crumpled, as his form upon the floor;
Smile he did- and fondle at the shadows to his maw,
Licking like a beast- was my beloved Commodore.

Alas all will hast left me, as I yell unto blackened sky-
“Was't it my fault- my neglect- that devoured his gentle core?”
As he sat bewitching, his hands and mouth were twitching-
I ran and latched my hand upon the frozen granite door;
I ran and left my Master, sitting dreary on the floor-
Left him there, my Master;- my beloved Commodore.

© copyright Eve Redwater 2011

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5 thoughts on “The Bell House

  1. Okies,
    This particular poem had me stumped for a bit, probably because I was trying to analyse it too much. Well that or that my mind wasn’t quite connected and I literally had a multitude of images running bonkers in my mind. At the first mention of “my beloved Commodore” oddly enough the first thing that popped into my mind was the old Holden Commodores.

    Anyways, I had re-read the poem before I went to bed and allowed my Id to take over and make sense of it.

    Which it did in a very odd dream.
    Now, to be clear, I don’t dream often or rather I don’t remember my dreams often. Sometimes I do get very vivid ones, like that one that inspired a “Neverwinter’s Night Neeshka Fanfic” that I never completed, but usually I just don’t remember anything at all when I wake.

    Anyways…

    I remember an old Commodore as in late 18th century Naval officer, in full regalia including wearing a colonial 3 cornered hat staring down at me from within an old but well maintained bell house. Beckoning, calling, hoping to lure one into his domain.

    Which was …The Sea…

    In I walked enticed. But his demeanor was strange and something held me back from crossing past the second door.

    …Turning away at last, away from his call, away from his lure, inviting, promising yet, hidden behind smiles and soft words, hidden dangers and death for the unwary.

    As I walked away, I turned one last time to look at the Bell House.
    No longer magnificent, no longer inviting. The Commodore isn’t there anymore. Just a run down house and an old rotting sail boat.

    So, there’s my interpretation.
    🙂

    • You always seem to put a unique spin on the things I write! I like your interpretation. In this poem, I imagined an old Commodore wasted by the long years of his life; somehow or another he ends up in the Bell House, and is visited by the narrator. But, that’s as far as I thought really; I like to leave my poems, etc. completely open to interpretation – which you’ve done in a wonderfully creative way. I really enjoyed writing this one to be honest. I loved the rhyming scheme too.

      If you enjoyed it, even a little bit, then I’m happy! But I hope it’s not so incomprehensible that people wouldn’t understand it. I wanted to tell a story – I hope I did.

      Thank you for reading as always~

      • Oh I did enjoy it. Definitely.
        As for interpretations, isn’t that the beauty of writing? We all create something for others to read then hope that it applies within context of their own experience and thus form a personalized image within their own minds.

        This one was a little obscure to me at first in a way. I caught on that it was a person you were describing but as I read, as I mentioned, conflicting images popped in unwarranted into my head. I saw the narrator as a man, a young girl, an older lady …the commodore too initially confounded me as my mind could not make up if its a he, it, idea or metaphor for something else.

        Thus I had to sleep on it.

        Am glad you like my take. It is like waaaaaayyyy off to the left / right / over the head of the original idea you had. I left out stuff of course, some silly, some nightmarish, and some, well, lets say our Commodore had all the treasures of the sea set to lure a poor soul in, and since it was from a dream, I can honestly say I don’t remember them all. At least not in detail. 🙂

  2. Oh good, I’m glad!
    I also love the fact that you dreamt about my poem; must have got the cogs turning, and that’s always a good thing I think! To be honest, I don’t even know where I got the idea of the Commodore from. I just let my brain do the talking. and really, that’s when I’m at my best. This turned out to be such fun to write, and it’s now one of my favourite poems that I’ve written so far.

    I’d love to get more feedback on it, though it’s hard to get stuff out there on here!
    I’ll just have to keep on trucking. 🙂

  3. Pingback: Eve’s Check-In: March « Redwater Ramblings

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