Dancing in the Cathedral

The bell-ringers rise and 

fall with the weight of their bells,
holding on for dear life to the pulls, 
the ropes rough in their hands,
the young ones lifted up, up 
from the belfry floor like 
adolescent angels treading air, 
as if so caught up in those 
peals of sound–each of them in turn
answering the plea of ponderous metal
they feel like feathers in a wind. 

Consecrated, cassocked, gathered 
for this task of intricate rhythm-ing, 
they learn to weave their way through 
the ring-patterns like pigeons to 
the dovecote over the cadences 
of distance. Even a mile away we 
ourselves sway like bells, snared 
by the tolling, its cords of holy dance