olden southern cemetery
shadows hide your inventory
ancient oaks dripping Spanish moss
I follow a path criss-crossing human glory
finding delicate offerings
decades lain enshrined from crying
loved ones long forgotten despair
crumbled headstones beyond repair–whispered sighing
some aren’t at peace where they lay
restless disquietude displays
crypts show signs of being disturbed
oh nerves, feeling highly perturbed–bring calm I pray
be at rest, I do beseech thee
your life has ended; now you’re free
no longer confined to this side
only a thin veil does divide your touch from me

A prompt over at Imaginary Garden With Real Toads inspired me to try a Florette Form:  http://withrealtoads.blogspot.com/search/label/format%20challenge

Adding this to Poets United as well:  http://poetryblogroll.blogspot.com/

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  1. I love visiting these old Southern cemeteries.


  2. very moving


  3. Strong words…This poem evokes a lot…


  4. Such powerful imagery. Beautifully done!


  5. Yes, I agree, very moving and, very lovely.


    • Thank you, Bren. My sister took that photo. We actually did see some vaults with the lids shifted off of them…we got a little spooked!


  6. Such a beautiful cemetery. I love “crumbled headstones beyond repair – whispered sighing…” Very evocative.


    • I love to explore old cemeteries…they’re so interesting..love the history. Thanks so much for coming by.


  7. Soothing… very relaxing!!!
    hugs xoxo


  8. lolasanrose

     /  June 3, 2012

    good writing, believable imagery. a hope, and a prayer, i believe the final line is true.

    good job.


  9. very evocative ~ especially love the ending!


  10. I love the feel to this piece, Gayle. So many lines in this to like! “I follow a path criss-crossing human glory” <— Liked this one, in particular. I think you captured the sense of these old cemeteries perfectly! There was only one small nit-pick I had with it: "you’re life has ended…" should start "Your". Forgive the Grammar Nazi in me, please!

    Before I saw the picture (which is marvelous, btw) it reminded me of Pere Lechaise Cemetery in Paris. It didn't have the Spanish Moss, but the trees there were old and large, shadowy. And there were quite a few vaults that looked as if they had been disturbed…I agree, spooky indeed. Again, you nailed it with the line about the veil – the veil IS thin in these places. Anyway, this is definitely one of my favorite poems you have written to date!


    • You know I’m a stickler about using proper grammar too and I know better than to mix up “you’re and your”..thanks for pointing that out! It kills me when I make those blunders.. 😉 I’m a Grammar Nazi too…I often notice grammatical errors.

      I’ve always loved to explore cemeteries and when my sister and I saw this one in a small town, we couldn’t wait to check it out. There were a few where the heavy concrete lids were shifted off the vaults…does give you a bit of a shiver. 🙂 And I do believe that the other side is separated from us by just a very thin veil…I rather like that idea.

      Thanks, Corina!


  11. Gayle, thanks again for leaving a link to this, a magnificent poem, and a new form for me. Your sensitivity to the “disquietude” (great word) of the not-so-sleeping dead, and your prayer that they may be at peace, was moving. Cemeteries are indeed “thin places,” where spirit and world are (thisclose), and you portrayed it with love and dignity. One of your best, truly. Amy


  12. The imagery in this poem is superb, Gayle, really capturing the essence of the earthiness and otherworldiness of an old cemetery. Like: ‘crumbled headstones beyond repair…whispered sighing’ …though there is so much beautiful word play it is hard to pick out a favorite!



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