Sunday, October 26, 2008



rise up
in a stubble
of gray warts
across the great
green body of
the memorial lawn
fungus of the
dead and gone
telling us about
who we used to be


Sarah Hina said...

K, this perfectly captures the visual, and emotion, of a cemetery visit. I do find myself listening more intently. The stillness encourages it.

Fungus of the dead and gone is so good. I love short poems that say just what needs to be said. This one is no exception. Very poignant.

Lolanda said...

Wow! What a treat - new poems! I haven't got a chance to read them all - have to run some errands - but I love them so far! And the pictures are wonderful!!! The painting is so unique!

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Sarah, thanks. I was driving by a huge modern cemetery, and all I could see was gray monuments - all the same size, all rising out of the green grass- like a stubble of "something." I said the poem aloud on the spot. I know warts sound awful...but that is really what it looked like (?) Unfortunately, I didn't have a picture of that cemetery, so I just used one I had. :)

Lolanda - nice to see you here again. Glad you like the poems, paintings, and photos. Thanks for stopping by. Come again, as often as you'd like. I try to post twice a week. ;D

Aine said...

It's no surprise that Jason and I love cemeteries. But I agree that the gray stones sticking up are rather fungus-like. Stone is the most enduring of materials, but it is too hard and cold to fully capture the essence of a life.

I have visions of a future cemetery that would feature a button to push on each tombstone which would activate a trekish-type hologram to depict the person and their story. Perhaps even a recording of themself telling their history...

But, alas, we will never have such information about those that have gone before. Only our imagination.

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Aine, I love your idea. I am sure, that in this age of technology, something like that could be possible. I contend that if the human brain can think of something, then it is probably capable of happening.

I remember traipsing around graveyards as a teenager back in WV. There was an old cemetery on the side of a mountain that was very interesting. Many of the monuments had the image of the deceased person right on the stone. I thought that was pretty high-tech. lol

rosetta said...

passing by cemeteries from this point on will always bring this thought racing back. thank you for expanding my mental visions.

trooping with crows said...

"telling us about
who we used to be"

A cold, hard, stone slab representing a life lived. What a thought!
I like this one so much in that it is a long sentence really. But you have said so much.
(an appropriate poem for the upcoming holidays by whatever name you call them..Halloween, All Saints Day, Day of the Dead...)

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Rosetta, Sorry it had to be a stubble of gray warts that you will be thinking about. I promise, I will give you a more picturesque vision in the future to ponder. ;) Thanks as always.

Trooping With Crows - I thought this might be good for All Hallow's Eve. Thanks!

I remember being in a cemetery once that had just a few graves in one area. As I walked to one of the three graves to read the monument inscription, I was jolted when I read the man's name -
"Phillip Lots" - (Fill Up Plots)
Very scary!! ;0

Anonymous said...

I find the stone kind of austere and purifying. Strangely comforting.

But then, in the shaded places, where people have mostly stopped visiting, that stone can turn black with mildew and recurring rain. Indeed, the graves can seem like strange growths. Twisted reflections of life. I'd rather not see cemeteries that way, but I can't deny that atmosphere when it creeps in. Maybe that's why I like to shine the light in and try to dispel it.

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

I have visited cemeteries far and near. I love the older ones the most. The epitaphs are so very beautiful and interesting. I love the momuments. One of the most fascinating of all, is the cemetery where Walt Whitman is buried - Harleigh Cemetery, in Camden NJ.
He is in a vault, actually. The headstones there are magnificent. It is a scary place, Camden - not the cemetery - but my husband and I have gone several times.

blue possum said...

K, this poem is great!

"telling us about
who we used to be"....

What a disturbing thought! I went on a tour of a local cemetery a few years ago. It's vast and is filled with thousands of tombstones. It was a wonderful experience! Anyway, there is a section with about 50 or so numbered markers that signify deceased orphans. It is sad to think that those orphans will only be remembered as numbers...every time I drive past that cemetery I think about those orphans and who they might have been.

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Blue Possum...How sad. I think I know exactly how you feel. It is amazing to me how many orphaned children there used to be. I guess with the wars, poverty, There is something so melancholy in your words. I know you really do think of those poor little souls.

rosetta said...

K, your wording fits exactly with the thought, please never consider changing it is your writing I enjoy so

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Thank you, my friend. I appreciate your approval so much more than I can say. :)