Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Graveyard gift

Standing in the churchyard, local quarried stone
Keeper of lost souls, the guardian of bone,
Seasons of people passing through lych-gate to this acre
A remembrance of life, a trustworthy caretaker.

No longer in mortal memory of freshly wiped tears
Generations have long forgotten over many years,
Through times of hardship and wars with skies so leaden
Vandals, neglect and weathering spelt graveyard Armageddon.
But still the stones remain although edges decay
The words that were inscribed oft have little left to say.
 primroses in a churchyard
Now it is the nature that speaks in volumes with such might
From those that crawl and slither, scuttle or fly at night.
An angel full of lichen and a skull that's topped with moss
An ecosystem of memento mori on every arch and every cross.

Winding paths cutting meadow grass welcome dainty wing
Summer ox-eyed daises, buttercups and snowdrops every spring.
Tussocks of Yorkshire-fog with plumes of purple florets
A food source for the Speckled Wood and where beetles rest in showers.
Amidst a sea of flowers with waves of buzz and pollen golden
Centuries of graves to which wildlife is beholden.

 shaded gravestone
Ferns in damp shaded corners, a steady drip of blessed dew
The avenue of limes and the mysterious ancient yew,
Hiding places for woven nests, the robin and the wren
Tangles of ivy and prickling bramble, a dashing foxes den.

A hunting and foraging site for creatures of all sizes
The nocturnal and crepuscular and songbirds at sun rises,
A figure of eight loop-the-loop from a pipistrelle
Catching flies, dancing high above where granite tombstones dwell.

Moonlight brings the badger on his familiar trail
Trodden path with humbug grunts and wiry tufts of tail,
And as he stops to snuffle for worms and droplets of elder berries
Peace abounds; consecrated ground, tranquil cemeteries.

Open the gate to these sacred spaces in countryside or town
Take some time to sit there and really look around.
Whether your journey is spiritual or somewhere to find ease
Celebrate the gift of the natural world underneath the trees,
A place for green enrichment and replenishing the mind
A rich mosaic of living and departed intertwined.
 grasses and graves


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