Stone upon stone the bell tower rises outside my window,
a protestant ruin of the village church. You belonged
to Drishane Castle. You belonged to the people.
The ringer gently bowed to the lintel, climbed
narrow stone steps spiraling, to call worshipers to holy communion.
Years later, Tidy Towns filled your belfry with a white-faced clock.
I raise the linen shade, wake to your dial, Black Roman numerals
go round and round. You move through my tea and egg.
I notice the time as I am off to the shop for the Guardian
and lamb. You are my companion as I play with poems
and read Passing Through. I stroll in the deep grass,
rubbing old tombstones, no longer legible.
You move through my days until you wane in the light
of the evening and fade at the unfairness of fate.
“The Clock Tower” is by Sandra Ann Winters
Bio: Sandra Ann Winters is the winner of the 2011 Gregory O’Donoghue International Poetry Competition, and a Pushcart nominee, having won numerous poetry awards and commendations in the United States. She is the author of a full-length poetry collection The Place Where I Left You (Salmon Poetry 2014), and a chapbook Calving Under the Moon (Finishing Line Press 2013). Her poems have been published in the Cork Literary Review, the North Carolina Literary Review, Wisconsin Review, Southword Journal, and others. Most recently she has been published in Salmon Poetry’s new anthology Even the Daybreak, and her poems have been selected for the Winston Salem, NC, “Poetry in Plain Sight” poster program that displays winning poems throughout the city. A resident of North Carolina, she retired from Guilford College, Greensboro, NC, as a professor of Irish and English literature. A part-time resident of Millstreet, County Cork, she has visited and travelled extensively in Ireland since 1998, returning often to read and write.
“Sandra Ann Winters’ poems are refreshingly direct, heroic in their address of the issues at the heart of the human condition. A natural empathy for the ‘individual journey’ is leavened by a superb mastery of her chosen craft, what Joyce calls ‘a scrupulous meanness.’ Her experience of growing up in rural North Carolina along with her extensive travels in Ireland bring a unique dimension to a poetry that transcends geographic and socio-cultural divides. How she unpeels the masks that would distract us from an assessment of our true Selves is quite unique in modern poetry. A most welcome and timely addition to the canon of Irish poetry.” – Eugene O’Connell, Editor Cork Literary Review
Sandra Ann Winters who lives from time to time across from St.Anna’s.
with thanks to Sandra for sending us the poem