Many of my poems are happy. This one is not.
It’s a lament for the countless stories that are lost, every day, as memories die with the people who lived them. I feel this lament when I walk through a graveyard, when I explore an old house crumbling with age, when I put my hand on a vine-covered old chimney standing all alone where once was a home full of life. The history is so close to me, and yet so far away. All the stories, all the details, are lost forever.
Lost because no one recorded them. Lost because no one remembers.
If only I could write them all!
The Storyteller in the Graveyard
Oft I walk here
Close to weeping
Midst the graves of history sleeping
With my fingers
Shriveled leaves from marble stones
Only dates and
Or an epitaph explaining
So few words and
All that’s left of lives forgot
I weep not for
Death or dying
Nor the grieving family sighing
No, the thought that
Leaves me crying
Is the stories no one knows
For to die is
All men’s ending
Broken hearts can hope for mending
Lives are rending
Pages from our history
I can feel them
Through my hands like water dripping
Though I stand here
Yet I cannot stem the tide
Catch them, catch them!
They are going
Memories fading; no one knowing
Lifetimes lost like
Off the jagged edge of time