The Grave Bells of St. Clairvaux

The Grave Bells of St. Clairvaux

A Poem by Carlos Lorenzo Estrada

The end of a trilogy of poetry I regard as dark gothic rhyme. See author notes for further details on these poems.

The Grave Bells of St Clairvaux 


Carlos Lorenzo Estrada 

What eyes hid in the shadow of night, 

never to be revealed in the morning of light

When the grave digger calls with shovel in hand 

filling the holes with brown sodden sand.

The gothic stone masons give image to rock

Gargoyles and sad Angels cause ravens to flock 

The tall grass in patches with dirt paths worn thin

Bear the markings of footfalls, of mourners therein 

Headstones weathered worn, with names far long gone

Their memories still remain, in hearts unable to move on

Though the populace of graveyard doth slowly do grow 

Plot of land is limited upon the grounds of St. Clairvaux

What makes this place exceptional is difficult to convey 

But what is whispered within rumor is 'oft hidden in the grey 

It's murmured Mephistopheles once played a cruel jest here

Leaned forward 'pon cousin Death, and expressed into her ear

"Let us take delight in the blind ignorance of faithful obtuse man.."

"I shall ring the bells upon the headstones and see what comes to hand."

All at once the small chimes rang, to fill the night with sound 

Men, women, and children wept, and ran toward hallowed ground

Fearing that their loved ones were buried; yet still alive

Cast blame upon the grave digger, and attacked him like a hive

Placed noose upon man's neck, and pulled tight to stifle breath.

Threw rope's end over branch, and yanked until his death.

Nicholas Scratch then stopped with the toying of the bells

Smiled upon the rabble, for as predicted, they did well.

"See, cousin Death, truth reveals these mortals so easy to sway

To accuse innocence so wrongly; and in their faith betray."

"Another corpse to fill a hole; another sordid soul to take

They fall for all my vile tricks, and in their beliefs forsake." 

Should you ever wander 'pon the graveyard of St. Clairvaux 

Take heed; and don't be fooled, by the ringing bells that toll.



© 2021 Carlos Lorenzo Estrada

Author's Note

Carlos Lorenzo Estrada
This latest submission is the completion of a trilogy of poetry in the span of a couple of months. I colloquially refer to them as dark gothic rhymes. They consist of the following in the precise order they should be read. The Serpent and the Holy Man, In the Darkest Night, The Grave bells of St. Clairvaux. Each delve into our human nature, morality, flawed judgment as mortals. The archetypes and themes I feel are a call back to Brother Grimm tales, which these poems were inspired by. They build upon each successive work much like a stream, to a river, and eventual sea. And they were written for all of you as a gift from one writer to another. Write with meaning, passion, and purpose. Let your art fill and inspire the hearts of others so that they may find within themselves the writer. For it is in between the words you write that others will see who you truly are, and in themselves strive to be better. This community has always been welcoming and kind and I can't help but pay it forward. Thank you so very much for your friendships.

My Review

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This is so very gothic, and cleverly done. It's an impressive undertaking. The only constructive comment I would make is to watch your rhyme scheme. Make sure the meter balances so readers have a seamless reading experience.

Posted 1 Month Ago

Zoe Richardson

1 Month Ago

You and I are of an age. I, however, find poetry to be my natural way of expressing myself. I strugg.. read more
Carlos Lorenzo Estrada

1 Month Ago

That is excellent advice, Zoe. I have always loved the art of writing I'm just so lazy in the techni.. read more
Carlos Lorenzo Estrada

1 Month Ago

That is excellent advice, Zoe. I have always loved the art of writing I'm just so lazy in the techni.. read more
Great talented write. You’ve got skill!

Posted 1 Month Ago

Carlos Lorenzo Estrada

1 Month Ago

Thank you, John, I appreciate the kind words. This was really fun to write despite its somber messag.. read more
dear Carlos... my Mother is laid to rest with most of her family in "Odd Fellows Cemetery" in
Delaware. She rests under a large Rose Quartz Heart Tombstone with an excerpt from her favorite poem
etched in black on one side and her name and family etched on the other side. Part of the poem
reads-- "Close to my heart I fold each precious thing the sweet day yields, until God gives us Spring".
Her Grave is under a large flowering Cherry tree that blossoms in the Spring. tenderly, Pat

Posted 1 Month Ago

Carlos Lorenzo Estrada

1 Month Ago

Thank you for sharing your touching memory Patricia.
Very goth Carlos. Has all the hallmarks of a Victorian graveyard. Reminded me of Highgate Cemetery which I visited by appt ten years ago. I certainly wouldn't want to be locked in at night. Quite a dark and grisly write, spooky with it, but thoroughly enjoyed. Thank you for sharing your varied and fluent writing.


Posted 1 Month Ago

Carlos Lorenzo Estrada

1 Month Ago

My favorite is Godfather Death. It is so good and its ending is to die for. Literally:)
Chris Shaw

1 Month Ago

Don', t know that one, I'll have to look it up :) Thanks Carlos, enjoy the rest of the day and have .. read more
Carlos Lorenzo Estrada

1 Month Ago

You too Chris and thanks again.

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4 Reviews
Added on July 23, 2021
Last Updated on July 23, 2021
Tags: death morality philosophy poetry


Carlos Lorenzo Estrada
Carlos Lorenzo Estrada

salinas , CA

If I can say something worth saying that makes just one person think about others...I'll try. The greatest storyteller was my grandmother. I miss her stories. more..