Another looking back poem inspired by the Daily Inkling prompt about the importance of the dashes between the dates on gravestone.


It seems such a commonplace thing, a gravestone,

a marker in the earth where a body is planted,

the place where descendants visit,

to water and tend, hoping perhaps the dead will grow.

I have no gravestones to water,

no headstones with names and dates,

no weeping angels or whited sepulchres

bear the names of my ancestors.

When the earth yielded barely a living,

a scratched grave in it merited no monument.

Or they died in the wrong place,

where even the earth was not their own,

and masses said had more purpose than stone

markers in that wrong place, wrong earth,

beneath a sky that lit the wrong faces.

We live and die, move on, away,

not tethered to a stone or anchored with weeping wings,

we take our memories of lives lived,

the stark stops of dates at either end,

pebbles dropped in the stream of time.

NaPoWriMo: Family

The theme today was to paint a family portrait.

Photo ©Raymond Okonski


All dark-haired, fair or ruddy,

Their pale or sallow faces,

Stare unblinking

Through the camera’s eye of the past.

All gone the same way,

Feet tramped the same path,

Grass and stone,

Grass and stone,

Or over the green, bucking back

Of the ocean.

Beneath the green hill,

Where the gorse blows

In the wind from the sea,

All bones are white,

Singing the same songs,

While the same story hums

Through the grey stone,

To the pulse of the earth’s

Great, beating heart.