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Felicity Plunkett


Bell Parts


i.m. V.P. 2005 – 2020



gate gate pāragate pārasaṃgate bodhi svāhā


gone, gone beyond, gone utterly beyond: enlightenment





A lone bell note. Then                       

its echo. Thrown                                            

stone loping over                                                       

a lake. Tones                          

the leaves hold. You                                      

will not return. Yet                                        

we wait.                                                         





Hollow cup. A strike

tone rolls

away. Worn

pastels hang

over sorrow. Leave

us silence, broken

by your gentle hand.




Mouthful of bruises. Black                                        

songs go to mauve. No one                           

hears. Frayed leaves                                                  

tap along a road – gone, like you                              

from strum and pick. Amp                                        

-lify shock. Make                                                       

our wounds anew.                                                      





Sound decays. Bell                                                    

notes fall, then fall

apart. Autumn’s quiet            

scythe. Branches let

go. Someone sweeps

at night. You slept

among leaves.





Clear note, go

back. Leaves

pitch to our feet. Sudden                   

rain. Scripts we forget. You

refuse clear

sky. Your flight

forgives us.




Clay without tongue. What’s left

to say? Perfect

chord, cast sorrow’s

shadow in sound. We wait

mute on your sunset hill. Grass

our knees. Leave

nothing but love.





On the cup’s lip, unsung

words. Unbearable

sound. Branch

without bud, you winter

all response. Dragonfly –

linger all morning. Draw

hope from us. Fly.






In most Buddhist traditions, ceremony is held in memory of a deceased person once every seven days until 49 days after death, to guide the spirit to the land of bliss. The ringing of bells – an instrument whose sound, technically, decays – is often part of this. The mantra gate gate pāragate pārasaṃgate bodhi svāhā, part of the Heart Sutra, is known as the Heart-calming Mantra.

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