Champ and stamp and plough the way

No drifts may bury hallowed graves

Though flakes in doubled flurries fall

And moonlight casts its silent pall

We sweep and leap and claw away

To bare the shallow, stony graves

For one is yours, and yours entire

And one is mine, in flood and fire

And one is the grave of Aristo

Whom all have mourned but none have known

His are the softest falling snows

And his are the winds that cease to blow

But champ and stamp and clear the graves

And sing and croak the cold away

The moon spares naught for Aristo

Nor do the sparkling veils of snow

Elizabeth Cook, 2014

12 thoughts on “Gravekeepers

  1. Elizabeth, this is simply stunning! Stunning! “For one is yours, and yours entire/And one is mine, in flood and fire”…wow!

    1. Thank you, John! I spent a reeaallly long time looking for a picture before I posted this, which has convinced me that I need to learn Photoshop. But that also gave me time to polish it!


      1. You know, I just reread your poem and my opinion has changed…it’s even better than I first thought it. Honestly an incredible write…the cadence is perfect, the rhymes work, it flows naturally and it has enough back story to support the theme but not enough to weigh it down with explanation. It has a lovely air about it that makes it feel old and cherished.

        Now go and write the book!

        1. Thank you so much! It’s been a very long time since I wrote a poem that felt like it really, really fit together 🙂 And although there’s not a story or a book behind this – yet – there are plenty of things to write!


  2. By the way, one quibble. I think you meant “moonlight casts its…” not “moonlight cast its…”.

    Then unapprove this message…this page should not be marred with quibbles.

  3. Very nice. It reminds me of James Joyce’s short story- The Dead and the line:

    “His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.”

  4. This may be a “graveyard” poem, Lily, but your talent and imagination surely isn’t dead. This work was nothing short of brilliant, and it gets better with each read. Very nice job! Hugs.

    1. Thank you, Paul! When I first wrote this I forgot about it, then later I found myself remember snatches and finally thought that I should post it 🙂


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