The bellringer who inspired the poem actually did well. When I saw her, I was taken by her earnest expression while she waited her turn to play her part in the music. She was whispering to herself, perhaps singing the tune, so she could remember her place.

The bellringer awaits her turn
she’s  waiting  with a look so stern
she rings in her tone just in time
after her neighbor’s bell had chimed.

To play in tune is her concern
The bellringer awaits her turn
or else her note  be out of place
from the choir, she will  fall from grace.

Her eyes are focused  on the score
her mouth whispers one-two-three-four
the bellringer awaits her turn
intently until the music adjourned.

So focused on the note she’d ring
the music did not take its wings
she has become deaf to the tune
the bellringer awaits her turn.


This was written for DVERSE POETS’ Form for All – Quaterns.



  1. this is lovely… i played in some bands, sang in some choirs and it’s so about both, practicing and knowing when it is your turn, but even more listening what happens and feel for the right moment to join..esp. when it comes to improvisation which is the part i love most…smiles…lovely verse and i’m glad that she did well actually

    • Oh, how nice! My limited experience in musical performance was in some violin recitals which I had when I was in my late twenties. Even when I have to keep my ear glued to the piano or the music sheet, I always miss my timing, much to my teacher’s consternation and my embarrassment. The little children fared way better than I did.

  2. oh very nice….it is pretty cool to watch them and i could see it all easily in your verse….there are several churches here locally that have them and they put on a show at christmas….my parents church is one of them, so i am sure i will see them….it does take concentration….

  3. I think you have captured that moment in an audience when one focuses on a particular person and forms a connection of sorts. Lovely work with the quatern. So happy you joined us for the exercise. I appreciate your participation!

  4. i used to be doing the same..especially in going to churches…my attention would always fall to anything or anyone acting unusual rather than focusing on what the mass’s about… haha… at least the bellringer’s committed with what she’s doing though she might be missing the joy of the moment… i had fun reading your Quatern… thank you… smiles…

    • Ha, I know that distracted feeling. 🙂 I would sacrifice the fun too if only to do my job right if I were in her place. 🙂 It would certainly not be fun being teased for ruining a performance. 🙂
      Thank you for coming by and the nice words, Kelvin. 🙂

  5. I’m glad you shared the story of your inspiration. She does look quite intent on her part. She’s probably trying so hard to make sure her part comes off perfectly. This much concentration does make a person deaf to the tune (as you describe so well in the last stanza.)

    • Having experienced ruining an ensemble performance (oh- those violin recitals with young kids!), I would gladly trade the tune for the ability to play my part at the right time and right note. 🙂

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