Epitaph for The Reader

 

 

2013-10-07 11.09.48

 

 

I took my long-awaited place.

I lay beside a lonesome grave,

 

The leaves around and all above

Fair figments of a peace, enough:

 

Dwelt in that green and leafy shade;

Resumed my bookmark-sleeping page,

 

Opened the crinkled book of life

For years of solace to surmise,

 

And savoured simply in that peace.

I hardly stirred to see the bees

 

Which sowed a silk of sound around

The wildflowers, unremembered all about.

 

I might have moved. Indeed, I might have died.

I have my book. I will abide awhile.

 

 

I have often found myself drawn to reading in the dappled shade of trees on a summer’s day. Naturally. What other type of shade do trees make in summer, other than “dappled”? Hmm? 

But it is particularly evocative to do so in a graveyard. To feel alive, and yet at peace; a guest and an intruder; vital, yet silent. I’ve written an immeasurable quantity of god-awful poetry about it already in my short and aimless life. But it did recently occur to me that I might write the reader’s own epitaph, both in the sense of my own epitaph and also that of “the reader,” that curious soul who lives their life in books until the very end. Quietly beautiful and unsettling in its self-reference. I hoped. 

As for the previous works upon which this palimpsest was written, it’s the usual texts: Morrissey, Seamus Heaney, various Romantics, and the odd war poet for the half-rhyme couplet forms. Balladic forms. A brief nod in a biblical direction. You get the idea by now, people. 

 

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