Foolish, Vivid, Dreams

I often sit in an old churchyard,
where I can see the stiff breeze,
blowing ripples through uncut grass.
Each tombstone is illegible –
overgrown by moss and lichen,
and along the pitted path
are pink and yellow roses,
corroded with brown tips,
straining stiffly in the autumn wind.

There are green cedars,
and an apple tree – russet and grey –
stripped clean of leaves and fruit.
Conifers and thistles grow elsewhere,
dried leaves and ivy wrap around stone walls.
There is a discarded Coke can –
faded and buckled – lying in the
crook of a Victorian tombstone.
And the Yew needles are licked with yellow.

I can see down the hill,
down over the yard wall
to the purple and grey valley
whose misty horizon is shrouded in a pale veil.
There are patches of green fields,
odd red-tiled roofs atop white pre-fab walls.
There is the white-noise of traffic on a nearby road.
There are the rotten lumps of flower stems,
written over it all, poking through the
green grass in my silent churchyard.

But there are the tombstones,
not so much grey as a putrid brown,
leaning backwards and forwards – few upright.
There are the sepulchres, cracked and stained,
whose lids look so temptingly easy to remove.
But what each lacks is a name –
the name of the bones whose skin has fallen off.
For some are weather beaten and worn,
and some are hidden by mustard-coloured lichen.
And though they lay silent, sleeping without any words,
they remain kissed by a fading autumn sun.


Posted on December 18, 2013, in Poetry and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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