I have taken to walking the graveyard,
An oak-tree’d resting place
Under whose towering limbs
A treasure of autumn leaves and acorns fall.
Strangely soothing, this gliding above the dead,
Pausing to note a name, an age, doing the math,
Adding or subtracting my own advancing years in
A fruitless assessment of my place in line.
Fall’s fierce abiding beauty comes at a price,
Golden everywhere sans the dark abyss where it points,
Each October a plaintive call to arms and attention,
Open arms of a love, that is, and attention to time, precious time.
Under every stone, a story of one who breathed, perspired,
Dreamed, questioned, loved, risked—and suffered, of course—
As I suffer now running hard up the hill from the potter’s fields,
Toward the stone monuments of nobles who lie there just as dead.
Breathless, I walk again, blood coursing, eyes horizoned,
Seeking a still point around which everyday life turns,
Not to stop time but to better watch its march, its inexorable
Passage over these paths where I bow in such wistfulness and joy.
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Deep appreciation to the photographers:
Rotating banner photos top of page courtesy of Elizabeth Haslam, some rights reserved under Creative Commons licensing, see more at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/lizhaslam/
Photo of Santa Rosa Rural Cemetery by David Berry, Rohnert Park, California, some rights reserved under Creative Commons licensing, see more at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/dberry/