First published in the Co-Op Caring Poetry Festival Anthology, 1988ST ARILDAS CHURCHYARD How sad a forgotten graveyard clings close to the side of the hill, long ravaged by the winds of time, cold stone monuments silent, still; fading inscriptions remembering those who died. On breath of a breeze its bell long-silent begins its ring, a haunting toll across the vale echoing. Awakening again bitter‑sweet memories of those left here behind. Who, on a sad day far back in time stood beside the open grave and cried. But who comes here now to tend the flowers? Only bees. A dragonfly on gossamer wings hovers over tall grass swaying in the wind. Only chirping grasshoppers. A mistlethrush sings. Picasso-painted butterfly flutters like a lost soul departing a hill steeped in clouds those teardrops of tranquillity found alone by Severn River’s backdrop. A silver thread weaving amongst lichen-crusted tombstones; a spider’s web set in motion in this peaceful sacred ground.
First published in Beyond the Horizon (The Poetry Guild, 1997)SEBASTIAN I could not understand you though I tried Speaking in syllables, signs in the air With my hands, with my eyes and you watching, Your smile and laughing, we were trying; And somehow you knew me, reading my mind. You were a man, Sebastian, with feelings You cried, a child, but you thought as a man. You loved like any man, and there was much Compassion given so freely, not held back by fears, And I wept frequently, unashamedly. So why when you turned away, could I not come Where you travelled still trapped in your chair? You could not tell me, you tried to show me Through blue eyes behind deep oceans forming Barriers between us I could not cross. So where have you gone tonight Sebastian, Unlocked and unleashed; free from your prison? I can still see you smiling, hear laughter but Missing you in the spaces now empty. Only the chair here that you left behind. ___________________________________________________________