The Bells Beneath The Water…
The bells beneath the water Call only carp to prayers, Eels swarm the lanes to gossip, The crayfish climb the stairs. Four villages, five churches, Old farmsteads by their scores; Small coin to pay for progress Unless thee farm was yours. My kin still guard the valley, I hid their new dug graves; They’ve boulders for a blanket To ward them from the waves. I took no Judas silver, They dragged me on my back; They paid me for my cattle And deeded me this shack. The New Town toads squat primly Beside their precious lake; But hark — the bells are tolling! You hear the sound they make?
This is an old story of a man-made lake in New England. Knowing that all the graves in the churchyards were being exhumed and moved to a site which would not be flooded by the arrival of a lake to power a hydroelectric dam, one farmer dug up his entire family burial plot and hid his forbears’ bodies on his farm, covering them with boulders. Everything else was left as the waters poured in to swamp buildings, fences, roads, telegraph poles... even the bells in the church towers. They are still there today, hundreds of feet beneath a lake beside whose shores stand multi-million dollar mansions.
Poem Published in the following books: A Glass Half Full