This blog's poems are from my published poetry book Star Steeds and Other Dreams: The Collected Poems (CFZ Press: Bideford, 2009) and are © Dr Karl P.N. Shuker, 2009. Except for author-credited review purposes, it is strictly forbidden to reproduce any of these poems elsewhere, either in part or in entirety, by any means, without my written permission.

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Monday 28 February 2011


The following poem of mine was inspired by a beautifully-written short story (entitled ‘The Bell’) penned long ago by Hans Christian Andersen – one of my poetry’s most influential muses.


Morning rose slowly through pale, dreaming cloudlets,
Peering down softly from clear, violet skies,
Watching the countryside waking from slumber,
Sending forth sunlight from warm golden eyes.

And as the song of the warbling dawn chorus
Drifted in ripples of carolling darts,
Church bells pealed gaily their glorious chansons,
Born from the joy of their bright, silver hearts.

Yet, ‘midst the chimes of their vibrant crescendo,
Echoed the sound of a more distant bell,
Deep and majestic in strange, holy splendour,
Singing unseen through each woodland and dell.

Rich was its tone, like a solemn concerto
Borne from a World of Perfection and Truth,
Calling me onwards through dingle and forest,
Haunting the wandering soul of my youth.

Snow-white anemones listened in silence,
Bowing down low as its heavenly chimes
Rang out before me in infinite glory,
Growing more fair with the passage of Time.

And as I walked through viridian woodlands,
Lilac convolvuli trumpeted long,
While from the arbours the bell’s regal chorus
Softly resounded through hyacinth throngs.

Still I continued, past silver-lit lakesides,
And as the swans drifted softly from sight,
Leaving their shadows on deep turquoise waters,
Far up ahead shone a shimmering light.

And as I passed through the lavender mountains,
Seeking the bell that had called from afar,
Fountains danced brightly from woodland to valley,
Spraying the vales with a bright shower of stars.

Meadows lay glistening on in the distance,
Dappled with poppies in slumbering bliss,
Peacefully dreaming in rapturous beauty,
Wrapped in enchantment by Summer’s soft kiss.

And as I climbed to the grey, cloudy summit,
Sunset spread softly through brilliant skies,
Filling the world with its rosy suffusion,
Scorching with colour my wondering eyes.

And as the sun sank down softly through Heaven,
There, ‘neath the sky, lay the glittering sea,
Snaring the sun’s silhouetted reflection –
Here, if at all, would the bell surely be.

Lo! What magnificence! Lo! What resplendence!
There stood the sun like an altar of gold,
Raised o’er the sea as a shimmering halo,
Kissed by the ocean’s voluptuous folds.

Here was the wondrous Cathedral of Nature –
Pillars of willow, and Heaven its dome,
Singing of Beauty, of Love in the Highest,
Borne from the chorus of wavelet and foam.

Stars twinkled brightly like crystalline lanterns,
Lighting up softly the pathways of Night,
Casting their shadows like glittering diamonds
Down to the woodlands in crescents of light.

And, as I stood ‘neath the Archway of Heaven,
Nature and Poetry singing as one,
Still the invisible Bell rang above me,
Calling me ever more, upwards and on,

Singing of God, of His Power and His Promise,
Sending His Love in melodious chords,
Borne by the souls of the Blessèd forever –
Praise in excelsis, for theirs is the Lord!

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