Beyond the high and ancient wall
the silhouetted tower of the village church
merged with the shadowed stone
in overlapping centuries.
Beneath the ivied lych-gate, time and fortune,
love and life have passed like the season’s berries
that bedecked the sombre yews
and scatter now upon the mossy path
like scarlet beads of blood.
Unexpectedly, tears blurred my vision
as the setting sun spread beauty from the burning palette
of the sky;
with a valedictory light the low sun
imbued the ironstone and slate with a softened afterglow;
a benediction from the day.
From the gate beyond the wall
I saw the mellow moon ascend
to claim the mantle of the night
and shine a yellow pathway to the time-worn names
incised upon the tombs – in memoriam.
There is a serenity here in this hushed and hallowed place :
the mysteries of life and the agelessness of love;
the histories of death and birth
revealed by the moon’s impassive face
on stone by weathered stone,
which lie at one with the accepting earth
beneath the canopy of sparkling stars above … .