Thursday, June 23, 2011

Coming Upon a Grave in the Woods

Tombstone photo from a cemetery I visited on a recent trip to Massachusetts

Coming Upon A Grave in the Woods

Worn gray, marble stone
That marks a life to me unknown,
Now rotted cloth and pristine bone.
In life begins, in death undone.

The pitted surface, I trace a name
Made unreadable by wind and rain,
The flesh decayed, the bones remain.
The wind reveals a whispered name.

Ever since I was a kid, I've loved graveyards. Especially the old ones with carved angels, effigies and skulls with wings. I am fascinated by graveyard statuary, mausoleums and old rusted cemetery gates. Basically anything that feels like a setting for a really good ghost story. Most people have a photo album containing family pictures. I have one containing pictures of graveyards from all over the USA. My family would humor me on trips and go out of their way to stop and let me tour an old cemetery or two. They actually are good sports about it, although some family members and friends find it odd.
For some reason spending time walking through a cemetery is very comforting to me.
I find peace among the tombstones and cypress trees, weeping willows and rusted gates. I'm not sure why. Perhaps it's the act of my remembering that these people were once flesh like me. They experienced love and loss, joy and sorrow, and all too quickly they were gone. It makes you appreciate every precious moment.

Word of the Day: macabre. (adjective) extremely disturbing or repellent; horrible.


  1. I've taken a bunch of nice photos at local graveyards. (Including a recent batch at one down the street from my job) I'd like to do a 'graveyard tour' around the country and see some of the really old and spectacular ones.

  2. I love the older ones the best, but some of our western ones are pretty wicked. I love the park-like feel. That poem really captured it.

  3. I love all graveyards. They all have their own unique character. I will always be partial to the ones in New York, Long Island and New England because of the carved images and the fact that the slate in which they are carved takes a long time to deteriorate,so it makes them very easy to read. I also like the ones out here in AZ. I love the one in Congress and Tombstone(the real cemetery) and Mayer. I hope to visit some of the ones outside the USA, like Prague and England. For me, a perfect vacation would be taking six months to a year, rent an RV and touring as many cemeteries I could travel to in that time frame. That would be awesome!