“THERE’S NO THROUGH TRAIL” —HAN-SHAN, TRANSLATED BY GARY SNYDER
/ The Ancestors Have Heard The Bell

The Ancestors Have Heard The Bell

by Madronna Holden

Those sleeping in their stones
have heard the bell
that rings at both 
the beginning and the end.

Do not mistake their quiet
for disappearance:
they have only sunk back
into the intimacy 
of infinity.

They are only
bathing in the darkness—
holding the chalice 
from which we all 
drink the stars.

They would show us how to claim 
our original names. 

They would show us
how trees begun in barren land 
grow green and decisive,
standing guard over 
precious necessary water
by keeping themselves
alive.

Madronna Holden

About Madronna Holden

Madronna Holden’s poetry won the 2022 Kay Snow Poetry Award, a contributor’s prize from Camas Magazine, and has been selected as poem of the day by Verse Daily. In addition to a previous appearance in Cold Mountain Review, her work has appeared in The Bitter Oleander, Equinox Poetry and Prose, Valley Voices, the Christian Science Monitor, and over two dozen others,  She is the author of the chapbook, Goddess of Glass Mountains (Finishing Line Press 2021).

Cold Mountain Review is published once a year in the Department of English at Appalachian State University. Support from Appalachian’s Office of Academic Affairs and College of Arts and Sciences enables CMR’s learning and publications program. The views and opinions expressed in CMR do not necessarily reflect those of university trustees, administration, faculty, students, or staff.