Still by Tony Burrows


Still by Tony Burrows

Nobody in particular is present here,

Here in the old churchyard,

Though they all come to rest,and lay beside,

The weary and the unaware, the late,

The dearly departed,

Faithful servant abide,

And those who just fell asleep,

For others to weep, and stand aside,

Uncomfortable in unmetered mumbling,

Mourning uncommon prayer,

With so so many bleak wreath words unsaid,

And wipe away tissue tears, to be left,

On the soon to be lost, and never found,

Still forgotten graves of the dead,

Seeking salvation with upturned palms,

Blanket blind, woolly flock,

Grazing by their shepherd not,

Crosses and prayers and twenty third psalm,

Stand shoulder to shoulder,

In the still and calm,

Of the church clock marking tick by tick time,

Time past over to trees that reach and etch four seasons,

And in its quarters beats the stone ’til,

Truth is gathered as dust, and time is no more,

Only still,

Still, there is no time for the dead,

For tomorrows tomorrow are on the march,

In warm September sun dried sun,

As bright as a star new,

New grow into uniforms with polished pop out faces,

Full of gilded parental promise, eager eyed, wide,

Wide as the green gates they must pass by,

Whilst in the still, leaves hold their fall, and

A young swallow hesitates before turning to fly,

Confounded, disappointed Mary rises and spirits away,

And something strangely empty now,

Now, nobody in particular, is in the old churchyard, bar I.

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One thought on “Still by Tony Burrows

  1. I have rated this work ‘Excellent’. I say ‘work’, because, in my ignorance of such things, I am unsure whether to call it poetry or poetic prose. I am sure that it conjures up the atmosphere of a forlorn and forgotten graveyard to which, save for the narrator, mourners seldom return.
    The narrator is present when mourners do enter the graveyard and observes them as they shed tears and lay wreaths and flowers and mumble prayers; whilst nature and the seasons come and go, leaving the graveyard isolated from the world that passes by its green gates. There is a strong sense of the graveyard’s isolation. Few people want to enter a graveyard and most do so only when they attend a funeral. Fewer still, want to linger in a graveyard.

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