Spire from History

I am blessed to tower above many,
as thousands sit below me every year.

I’ve been a long proponent of freedom,
pealing out my beliefs since 1750.

My fame is from my history,   
my role in a famous midnight ride.

Visit me on Patriots Day’s Eve
and you’ll see me glowing with pride.

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today, Bjorn asks us to write a poem that is a riddle, using personification for abstract or innate objects.

The answer to my riddle?

The steeple of Old North Church in Boston. Established in 1723, the enduring fame of Old North began on the evening of April 18, 1775, when the church sexton, Robert Newman, and Vestryman Capt. John Pulling, Jr. climbed the steeple and held high two lanterns aloft as a signal from Paul Revere that the British were marching to Lexington and Concord by sea across the Charles River and not by land. This fateful event ignited the American Revolution and was later etched into poetic history by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere. We are members of Old North, humbled to sit in her box pews for services. We’ve climbed the very steep stairs to reach the heavy long ropes attached to her eight bells, which first rang in 1750. You’d have to climb up further, on ladders, to reach the bells! In his youth, Paul Revere was a bell ringer at Old North.

Also shared with NAPOWRIMO Day 21.

Photo is from the Eve of Patriots Day this past week. It is the one night every year, that lanterns light up the steeple again.

December in Boston

White frosting on the ground,
icing on the trees as well.
Cold air nips at noses,
wool capped walkers lean into wind.

Skaters glide clockwise
round Boston’s frozen Frog Pond.
Brightly colored mittened hands
wave happily to friends.

Old North’s bells chime
as they did in Paul Revere’s day.
Her white steeple towers proudly
over festively garlanded gates.

Mrs. Martignetti and son
sit in Modern Pastry Shop.
Chat and warm their hands
over cappuccino filled coffee cups.

Oh yes, it’s true.
Everyone admits it.
Old Man Winter is definitely here.

Written for Open Link Night Live at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today, we’re invited to post any poem of our choice and join others at a LIVE dVerse session which is from 3 to 4 PM, Boston time. To join us, either to read your own poem or just to listen, click here at 3 PM and follow easy directions to access. It’s a global bunch and a lot of fun. All poetry written and read in English. Photo from pixabay.com

NOTE: The line about Mrs. Martignetti and son is dedicated to Anthony Martignetti. Anthony came to the U.S. as a 9-year old. He became famous when, as a 12-year old Italian immigrant, he ran through Boston’s North End in a television commercial for Prince spaghetti, as his mother yelled “Anthony!” The commercial first aired in 1969 and ran for 14 years making him a local and national celebrity. See short video below of the commercial and its history.

Sundays with Me and Paul . . .

Come walk with me . . .
past busy city intersections
into Little Italy,
past salumeris and bakeries too.

Now look up . . .
at that gleaming white spire
atop the red brick edifice.
Boston’s Old North,
Paul Revere’s church.
National Historical Park Site.
Active Episcopal congregation.

So glad you’re joining us today!
Allow me to seat you inside.
Are you three today?
Yes, amazing to see . . .
all original white box pews.
And where are you from?

How about Pew #25?
Owned in 1759,
by Captain Daniel Malcom,
a Son of Liberty.
Yes, in those days,
wealthy people bought their pews.
And note the plaque inside,
December 29, 1912
Theodore Roosevelt
He did! He sat right there.

Now do look behind you . . .
four wooden angel figures
in the organ loft.
“Gifts” to the church in 1745,
from a privateer –
a legal pirate –
“taken” from a French ship!

And look here . . . .in your bulletin . . .
right after the Offertory.
See the words to the Doxology?
We sing that, and then . . .
what I love best at Old North.
The next words you see there . . .
final verse to My Country Tis of Thee.

Our fathers’ God, to thee,
Author of liberty,
To thee we sing.
Long may our land be bright
With freedom’s holy light.
Protect us by they might,
Great God, our King!

The organ booms it out
and everyone sings . . .
oh how we sing!
Chills down your back!

After the service,
listen . . .
oldest bells in North America,
cast in Gloucester, England in 1744,
hung in Boston in 1745,
will be pealing away!

Six bell ringers pull on ropes
in mathematical sequences
from high up in that famous spire . . .
where the lantern was waved
April 18, 1775.
You remember . . .
one if by land, two if by sea” . . .

So there you have it!
Nice to have you join me,
on my almost-every-Sunday walk
to Old North . . .
hallowed ground
hallowed place
in American history.

IMG_6855

IMG_4297

It’s Tuesday Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Sarah is hosting and asks us to take her and our readers on a journey that is very familiar to us. Most Sundays of the year when we are in Boston, we walk to the North End (Little Italy) to Old North (actually Christ Church) and usher for the 11 AM service. Top photo was taken last Christmas; second photo was taken after the Patriots’ Day Service, the one night a year the lantern is carried again to the top of the tower/spire to shine as it did in 1775. Every Sunday, we literally have visitors from across the globe.

Christmas in Boston

Splashes of red brighten everyday winter mood.

Cardinal perched ‘top snow laden branch
holly berries ‘mongst waxy green leaves
stocking-capped girl on ice-covered pond.

Cranberry garland round grandma’s tree
foil-wrapped treats with ribbon-tied bows
cinnamon red-hots on gingerbread men.

And then . . . on a star lit night
Old North’s steeple glows tall and bright
draws us to her warmth within.

History fills this sacred space
softly lit by candlelight,
voices lilt from loft above.

Spirits lift and faces shine,
voices raise as all join in
oh come all ye faithful . . .

celebrate that gift of hope.
Love born this very night,
so long long ago.

IMG_4297

Old North. Paul Revere’s church where lanterns were waved that infamous night, immortalized in Longfellow’s poem.
We shall walk to Old North on Christmas Eve when the church will be aglow with candles lit in her brass chandeliers and sconces that are 200+ years old.