For Bernard Iddings Bell

The birds began to circle when they heard
The lawyer ask the use of learning Greek.
And when Bell quoted Plato, they all jeered
And longed to toss him out with the antiques.

The dean in robes put up a fight to save
The young from rising fads and crowd culture.
The board shrugged off the words of this odd slave
To votes of dead men beckoning vultures.

He made boys stand when he entered the room,
Like good men who sought truth in ages past.
For this offense the board winced and consumed
The robes and books and dean, like carrion.

The blind priest heard confession with restraint
And spoke the words, a martyr and a saint.



“Harper Library” photo, courtesy of Rick Seidel via Flickr


Clinton Collister

Clinton Collister is a teacher at Bloomfield Christian School and Rochester College. His poems have been published in Blackberry Winter, and his essays have appeared in Front Porch Republic and Solidarity Hall. He lives in Rochester with his beloved wife, Sarah.


'For Bernard Iddings Bell' has no comments

Be the first to comment this post!

Would you like to share your thoughts?

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

(c) 2019 North American Anglican