For Nicholas – Poetry by Beulah Vega

-for Nicholas Green inspired by the Children's Bell Tower

more ancient than the granite
the marine layer
blown by cherry blossom
scented winds
reaches a reverential tendril
to softly ring the Italian bells
hung so far from home.

Nicholas,can you hear them
can you hear the bells singing
your name?

puka shells, abalone,
bamboo and other 
ancestors 
murmur together
a soft chorus
in the gnarled limbs
of the Monterey Cyprus

Nicholas when they sing, 
can you hear the apologies
from those who could not
save you?

A quail calls from the scrub
the piercing cry of a mother
seeking its young. 

Nicholas did you hear the grief
from those that loved you
those who still speak your name?

A ground squirrel 
scuttles in dried pine needles
knocking small pebbles
into discordant notes
until a solitary finch
softly hushes all with it’s
sweet hymn to the creeping
cherry wind and pounding
ocean tides.

Nicholas, in the rhythmic
Pacific, the rhythm of peace,
can you hear heartbeats 
hear those you saved? 

The tall tower bell chimes
calling the lost 
soothing the grieving
reminding even the ancient
marine layer to tread softly
this is sacred ground

Nicholas, 
as long as the cherry winds blow
As long as the pacific tide flows
the bells will continue to sing for you

Nicholas, please tell us,
you hear them.
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