Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Lines composed in Moorsgate Cemetery

From "The Last Journal of Gwyllyn"

The grand trees are voiceless in November,
but the songs of leaves they still remember;
they beg for alms with every member
from the sun which now is a dying ember.

But the beauty of each object is distilled
into a light, with which this place is filled
to brimming over - and my soul is thrilled
though my frame by autumn winds is chilled.

Many of the markers have crumbled apart
from the slow eroding of the years. A cart
of labourers clatters past; they depart
leaving me alone, but for sparrows that dart

and dance above my weary head,
while for an hour or so I make my bed.
Damp leaves are laid out yellow and red,
bright carpets covering the quiet dead.

But neither sombre nor lonely is this place;
it imparts a rather exquisite grace
as the mutual fate of our fretful race
is vividly presented before my face.

I behold their beginnings and their ends
and the years between, which gently lends
a strange light to my own life, and sends
me, as I stride homeward in autumn winds,

indeed rapt in a pensive quietude,
but not to morbidly grieve and brood
but to instead, with joy, in a hopeful mood,
more lovingly live my life renewed.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

A Shadow of Longing

A very noon of orange and gold
flickers like fire despite the cold
beneath the twining maple boughs,
a living canopy in which to house,
as though in a tabernacle, the sheen
of blazing glory where once was green,
which whispers now with a gentle voice
to all who pass to make a choice:
To seek this world and hold it fast
though it fades away and will not last,
or to find, through all these dying things,
albeit in faintest glimmerings,
glimpses of the Light that ever shines
beyond this world of fragile signs
which live for a time then swiftly die
like golden leaves that soon will lie
upon the ground, withered and grey,
then turn to dust and fade away.
O! Nothing of beauty in this world lasts,
but while they endure, each one casts
a shadow of longing across the eyes
and points to the Life that never dies.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

In St. Mary's Kirkyard

From "The Last Journal of Gwyllyn"

The wind has found me hidden here,
beneath a grey-stone sky:
the soft grey-stone that presses near
and into which I would fly.

But wisdom is found in the fallen leaves
heaped here and there in piles,
and in the grass that shivers as it grieves
along these quiet aisles.

The aged rowan has shed its tears
of crimson on the earth
where grass has failed these many years,
through many springs of mirth.

But larks still flit about and sing
among the dwindling green,
with all the joy they had in spring
despite winds cold and keen.

And the low stone-sky is calling out
for me to take my leave
from shivering grass and rowans stout,
from larks who will not grieve.

For on the moor-paths beneath the sky,
through heather-banks in the sun,
I came at last to the kirkyard nigh,
where these weary days are done.

But grieve not grass, nor fallen leaves:
but sing with the joyful kin
who fly in the grey heaven that heaves
over new paths that here begin.