NOVEMBER 2017
CHIMES WITH
ALARM

by Gannon Daniels
On their busy street, the chimes from
the monastery along with a computerized car
alarm simultaneously with rhythm
sing within the same meter—
Listen, they say to each other
and both pause to take in the phenomenon.

The monotonous wailing of the auto—
the religious melody of the bells;
two messages in a bottle
the traditional tolling dances the air
and the dissonant rigid warning
blares in the rests—or not, but in syncopation.

The young man hears the charm in it—
the torrid sharps where the chimes pause
recognizes the clamor he seeks that duplicates
his own cacophony inside his head;
a sought-after expression that distracts him.

After a moment the woman is annoyed, put off
by the juxtaposition of sweetness and asperity.
It seems to her an abrasive reminder
of matter that needs discarding
and truth she knows she no longer needs
or even wants to identify.

They continue to listen as the sounds
meld together, calling and cooing
sacred protection of soul, of steering wheel—
He nods his head as if to a favorite tune
and she smiles at him and consumes in an instant
a bite of the chord that connects and splits them.


Gannon Daniels teaches English and Reading at
Glendale College and LA Mission College. Her poetry
has been published in several journals including
California Quarterly, Cimarron Review, RATTLE and
Jerry Jazz Musician. The Occupying Water
(GaltArtHouse) is her first book of poems and she
hopes to publish book two in 2018.