Saturday, November 12, 2011

Grave Stone

Primitive gravestone from the 1830's in the Smoky Mountains

          Grave Stone

So that the dead might always
be able to see mountains circled with clouds
and fog, spiraled by hawks and the currents
they ride, we bury each of our gone
ones as high as we can astride hillsides.
We bring to their chiseled names
flowers and muttered words, sometimes
our songs, if our throats have been loosened
from sorrow at last.  We lie down
in the spring grass beside them.  We stand
in the snow, all a'shiver with emptiness.
Summer we scatter our memories
over their slabs,  our dusty hands
opening onto another day's leave taking.


  1. Face it, Kathryn, you can write!

  2. Beautiful write, Kay... I adore "our gone ones"...

  3. Love the images you chose to illustrate the poem. My favorite line is "We stand
    in the snow, all a'shiver with emptiness."

  4. Wonderful! I love all the mountain graveyards and feel fortunate to have one bordering one of our pastures.

  5. Love your blog, love your questions, and the people you chose to include. From a KY gal too long disposed in the North.

  6. Thank you especially to Dianne. I hope you come back to the bluegrass state soon. And to all of you===I'll be gone for the next week but send my greetings and best wishes for a fine November lead up to Thanksgiving!

  7. Powerful words Kathryn. What a lovely tribute to the ones who have left us and the description of the ones who are left behind.

  8. Julia Nunnally DuncanNovember 16, 2011 at 8:53 AM

    How true everything you've said.

  9. Also lovely--and also reminds me of Aldo Leopold's suggestion in "Odyssey" that we should die (literally) higher than we've lived, to retard the march of our atoms to the sea.